PLATTSBURGH, NY - During the past five years the U.S Coast Guard says there have been 890 boating accidents in New York
State and 129 deaths. To help change those statistics, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that goes into effect May 1st requiring people to take a 'boating safety course’.
Even though the lake is still frozen Brad Tucker signed up for this boat safety course in Plattsburgh to prepare for the summer ahead.
“It’s nice to renew your knowledge,” said Parker.
In Vermont a boating safety course is mandatory for anyone born after January 1, 1974 to operate a motorboat. The course is required in New York State for anyone operating a jet ski. But starting May 1st a new law passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo makes these types of courses mandatory for anyone 18 years old and younger.
“Anybody over 18 does not need this but we like to kind of push it because some of the new things come out and with the new technology and stuff we kind of push it if nothing else it’s a refresher,” said Robert Shivokevich, with the Coast Guard Auxillary.
A refresher that could soon be required for everyone operating a motor boat in New York. But lawmakers haven't set a timeline as to when that will take effect. And until that's finalized, Shivokevich says these types of courses are a good idea for everyone because Lake Champlain is unique. It's an international body of water governed by three separate entities, with three different sets of laws. And the boating safety course covers all three: federal, Vermont and New York state law.
“New York State requires that any motorized vessel must have an anchor for them. Whereas the federal government doesn't require that and Vermont doesn't require that. When you are on Lake Champlain, you don’t really know when you in Vermont and when are you in New York, there's no line going down the middle of the lake,” said Shivokevich.
With all the different laws Tucker says he welcomes the change that people requires to take this type of class.
“You see a lot of folks in the water that really aren't sure of what they are doing and sometimes that could cause danger to other people,” said Parker.
If you've missed Saturday's course - don't worry – the Coast Guard Auxillary is offering a few more classes.
The remaining classes are listed below:
April 29 and May 1, Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
May 17, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
June 3 and 5, Tuesday and Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
There is a charge of $30 for the study booklet, certificate and wallet card. For more information, and to register, contact Robert Shivokevich at 518-493-7251 or E-Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org