Business booming for water sports on Long Island; officials remind about safety

Kristin Thorne Image
Friday, June 26, 2020
Business booming for water sports on LI; officials remind about safety
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Kristin Thorne with a message from local officials about boating safety as waterfronts reopen

FREEPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- Operators of water sports activities on Long Island are reporting business is booming as people look for ways to enjoy the outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Charles Webb, the owner of Island Jet Skis in Freeport, said business is up 75 percent and he's expanded his hours for guided tours.

"We're getting about, I would say, an extra three to four crews going out throughout the workday because of how much volume of business that we're getting," he said.

Webb hears from his customers that people are ready to get out and have a good time.

"It's time to relax, have some fun and think of the better things, positive things," Webb said.

Dayshawn Andrews, of Medford, chose to go jet skiing on Friday for his birthday.

"It's been a rough last few months. It's good to come outside and enjoy the weather," he said.

Officials in the Town of Hempstead said activity on the water has increased dramatically throughout the past month.

"Now is a really important time to remind people that with the enjoyment of our beautiful waters here on Long Island we also need to be cautious. We need to be safe," said Don Clavin, Supervisor for the Town of Hempstead.

"A lot of people invested in a boat or personal watercraft to enjoy this summer," said Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D'Esposito. "Which means that there are a lot of new boaters out on the water."

Officials are reminding people about water safety after Sabina Singh, 26, of Baldwin, was killed while tubing in Oceanside on Sunday.

Police said she was being towed behind a boat when she collided with a bulkhead. She was pronounced dead at the hospital due to severe head and chest trauma.

Town of Hempstead Bay Constable Inspector Matthew Sohm said tow sports, like tubing, wake boarding and water skiing, are particularly dangerous.

Sohm said people must wear a life vest at all times while participating in tow water sports and an observer 10 years of age or older must be watching the person being towed. In the Town of Hempstead, it is illegal to participate in water sports in canals.