Another Season: Same River, New Rules

Extensive new measures as the season begins/ Courtesy of O’Rourke/New NY Bridge

Extensive new measures as the season begins/ Courtesy of O’Rourke/New NY Bridge

The Hudson Valley Marine Trades Association boat show drew crowds to Westerly Marina in Ossining this weekend. First stop: awareness. The New NY Bridge Outreach Team was there, explaining the extensive mandatory safety precautions that will be in place as the season begins.

Approval for the expanded Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) of 500 yards north and south of the bridge  “should be a matter of days,” Charles Rowe, Sector New York Public Affairs Office, said via email today. And when it is, look for it in a subsequent Local Notice to Mariners.

Next week (May 1), anyone born on or after May 1, 1996, must complete an eight-hour boating safety course before operating a mechanically-propelled vessel in the state’s navigable waters. Those born before May 1, 1996, are exempt.

The bridge and equipment bathed in gold minutes after sunrise/EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown

The bridge and equipment bathed in gold minutes after sunrise/EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown

From the 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics, Executive Summary:

• In 2012, the Coast Guard counted 4515 accidents that involved 651 deaths, 3000 injuries and approximately $38 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.

• Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure, and excessive speed rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

• The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (47%), personal watercraft (19%), and cabin motorboats (15%).

HVMTA’s proposal last summer is becoming reality. Boaters who are stopped for not having the right equipment, or for a safety inspection, will be provided the missing equipment until they reach the shore. “Instead of a fine or ticket, the boater would get what’s needed,” Capobianchi said. “This also builds rapport with the local marine authorities.”

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation publishes numerous boating resources, including The New York State Boater’s Guide (pdf), detailing registration, operation, and safety information. There’s no better or safer time than now to learn those rules.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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