Oswego, NY, June 8, 2012 - Late last month, New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White paid a visit to several local media outlets in advance of National Safe Boating Week (May 26-June 1).
"National Safe Boating Week offers us a great opportunity to remind recreational users of what they need to have on-board, especially in advance of Memorial Day weekend, when everyone is starting to get out on the water," says White. "You'd be surprised at how many people aren't aware of all the safety measures, especially as laws keep changing from year to year."
In addition to offering reminders to the viewers of several television news broadcasts on how to make it a safe season on New York's waters, White brought with him the 2012 Discover Clean and Safe Boating educational vessel — a 17-foot Com-Pac Sun Cat sailboat built by Hutchins Company of Clearwater, Florida, and provided by The Sailboat Shop in Skaneateles, NY. Also, the 12-foot aluminum "clean" canoe provided for last year’s show by Marathon Boat Group has been dubbed the E/V Ontario and will also be at the display.
"Paddle sports comprise one of the largest growing recreational pursuits on the water," says White. "So, we're reminding folks who canoe or kayak that they've got to be thinking not only about being 'clean and safe,' but also invasive free." Since last year, this public outreach campaign has put a spotlight on vectors of aquatic invasive species introduction, prevention, early detection, rapid response measures, and long-term management and control – all of which can help reduce the cost of coping with invasive species in New York State.
White's 'clean and safe' boating suggestions - as seen on CNY Central News (a Syracuse-based NBC, CBS and CW-affiliate station), Channel 9 WSYR (a Syracuse, NY-based ABC-affiliate) and WWNY TV 7 (a Fox affiliate in downtown Watertown) and detailed below - are easy to learn and follow.
"Three things I like to remind people about are: having the right type of life jacket, the right number - one for everyone on-board - and the right size, whether it be an adult, child, or pet, such as a dog" White says.
- Even if you have the required fire extinguisher and safety flares aboard, they won't work if they're not up to date.
- Check the pressure on the extinguisher, and check the expiration date on the flares (this goes for cars, too!)
- Get a 'bib' for your gas - its an absorbent ring to go around the nozzle on the fuel hose, to keep splashes and drips from going into the water. One should last all season.
- PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) come in bright colors and more compact sizes to make them more attractive to children, but you should also have them on your pets. Some PFD's for pets include a people handle on the back, for grabbing in an emergency. The thinking, if the pet has a life jacket, children on board will wear them, too.
White also reminds that "anyone under 18 that wants to operate a motor boat alone in New York has to have taken a safety class. Also, anyone, regardless of age, that wants to operate a personal watercraft or jet ski has to have taken a class."
From the Central New York Boat Show in mid-Febrary through the summer months, the 2012 Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign educates boaters about all the gear required and recommended for legal, safe and environmentally-friendly boating on New York’s waters. The campaign is a partnership of New York Sea Grant, the Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, and other marine trade organizations, marine manufacturers, event organizers, and media. Last year, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water awarded New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White and the Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign a commendation.
For more details on these safety tips, see the video clips below. Also, you'll find numerous resources on boating safety under the "Topics" section of NYSG's Great Lakes Boating and Marine Trades site
New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 32 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.
On YouTube: Sea Grant Kicks Off 2012 Discover Clean and Safe Boating Campaign
) - WWNY TV 7 (a Fox affiliate in downtown Watertown)
On YouTube: NYSG Talks Safe Boating on Bridge Street's "Summer Fun" Segment
) - Channel 9 WSYR (a Syracuse, NY-based ABC-affiliate)