NY Lawmakers Push for Mandatory Boating-Safety Courses

Author: Joseph Spector [Albany Bureau]

ALBANY — State lawmakers on Monday continued to push to require boating-safety courses in New York for new operators after a number of deaths in recent years.

Westchester County legislators were joined at a news conference by the family of Bryan Johnson, an Ossining man who died in a boating accident last June. Johnson, 26, drowned near City Island in the Bronx after he went out on a boat with some friends and the operator apparently moved the boat away from where they were swimming as a joke.

The legislation, sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Ossining, and Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, would require boaters of mechanically propelled vessels to obtain safety certificates beginning at age 18. The law would also require anyone under 18 who operates a boat to be with someone older than 18 who has taken the safety training.

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