Coast Guard, NYPD, FDNY demonstrate proper boating safety ahead of holiday weekend

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Coast Guard, NYPD Harbor Unit, and FDNY Marine Operations held an event highlighting the importance of boating safety for National Safe Boating Week, ahead of the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Officials discussed the importance of life jackets, local boating hazards, essential and recommended boating equipment, and other aspects of boating safety Monday afternoon.

Boat crews were on hand to demonstrate the functions and proper uses of boating safety equipment.



Authorities remind everyone that safety comes first on the Hudson River, a busy corridor for all types of marine traffic.

"It's unique in the fact that the amount of boat traffic you get from tankers, all the way down to those jet skies," said Michael Lara of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Life vests should fit like a seatbelt in a car, not too snug but not loose enough that it can slip off.

If and when there is trouble here on the water the Coast Guard, NYPD Harbor Unit, and FDNY Marine Operations are there to help.

They say the biggest problem they encounter has to do with paperwork.

"People actually not having the registration on board, just like a car, your registration should be with the vessel," Lara said.

Drinking is allowed aboard most vessels, but only for passengers.

Officials warn it is against the law and reckless to operate any kind of vessel under the influence.

They also remind boaters that patrols will be ramped up during the holiday weekend and throughout the summer.

Anyone convicted of BWI will not have legal fees, but they could lose their licenses and even spend time in jail.

"That includes booze and in today's day and age marijuana, whatever it is, stay sober on the water," FDNY lieutenant Ilya Zerakhto said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide and is the leading cause of injury death among children ages 1 through 4 years old in the United States.
National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 21-27, is a campaign during which the National Safe Boating Council, U.S. Coast Guard, and other federal, state, and local agencies promote safe boating practices before Memorial Day weekend.

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