On Air: More Than Safety On Board During Safe Boating Week
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation and Tourism Specialist, P: 315-312- 3042, E: dgw9@cornell.edu

Geneva, NY, May 24, 2021 - National Safe Boating Week is underway.

Dave White with New York Sea Grant, who visited with Steve Penstone at Finger Lakes Daily News, discussed this week's partnership between the National Safe Boating Council, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service.

You can listen to White's full conversation on Finger Lakes Radio ...

If you don't see the player above, it's because you're using a non-Flash device (eg, iPhone or iPad). You can download the mp3 file by clicking here (mp3). It may take a few minutes to download, so please be patient.

New York Sea Grant’s Dave White says there are a number of new regulations this year, including the use of an emergency cut off switch, or ECOS ...

The clip above: "Essentially, the new law is if you have one on board, you need to actually attach it to yourself because a lot of folks will get on and they'll just leave it attached to the key fob. They're not going to attach it to them. So actually now on navigable water you need to have it attached. And then it's just another good safety device to protect people."

A new law will ensure that watercraft operators are properly trained ...

The clip above: "Brianna's Law has been put in place that by 2025 everyone who operates a motor boat in New York State has to have taken their boat certification course. The nice thing is our friends at the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Power Squadron, sheriffs, volunteers with New York State Parks all teach the class. So it's something that is really readily available, especially in the spring."

The agencies involved in Safe Boating Week are encouraging boaters to follow best practices and safety guidelines and keep their watercraft clean to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.

Full Transcript: 

Speaker1: [00:00:04] Good morning. It is 8:16 on this Monday morning, and National Safe Boating Week is underway. And here to talk about it, our good friend from the New York Sea, Grant, Dave White. Dave, good morning and happy National Safe Boating Week to you.

Speaker2: [00:00:23] Well, good morning. Same to you. And it is a great day here in the Finger Lakes as I sit here looking out at the [00:00:30] lake myself with the kayak sitting there in the water ready to go when we're done. So I'm going to be a great day, a great week and great time to talk about getting ready for the season and making sure we're safe.

Speaker1: [00:00:41] And obviously, with the nice weather we've had of late, you know, probably the last week, except for yesterday afternoon, a lot of people already out on the water as you know. And there's a lot of new things that they have to be concerned about this [00:01:00] year.

Speaker2: [00:01:01] There are. In the last year, I just saw some recent statistics, depending on where you were in the country, but sales were up 10 to 20 percent because boating is such a family-friendly, COVID-friendly, if you will, but it's just such a family-friendly, wonderful opportunity to go out and do. So, you know, it's something that we're just seeing increase. And it's just so great because we have such great resources here in the Finger Lakes. So it's it's a great thing to be doing. And, you know, there are a couple of new things out [00:01:30] there. One that folks have probably heard about is what's called ECOS, which is the emergency cut off switch. It's basically the kill switch on your boat. And essentially the new law is if you have one on board, you need to actually attach it to yourself because a lot of folks will get on and they'll just leave it attached to the key fob. They're not going to attach it to them. So we actually now, on navigable water, need to have it attachment. And it's just another good safety device to protect people so that if you hit that rough bump, that wave, that wake and you do fall out  [00:02:00]of the boat, it will immediately cut the boat off. So that's one of the new ones that's out there. But again, it's just a great safety measure. And as you know, I'm a fan of the 15 minute safety check. If you spend 15 minutes before you go out on your boat for the weekend or with the family for the day, you're going to have a great day on the water. You're not going to have to worry about it. And it is just going to be what we love, being out on the water, which is a fun, family-friendly opportunities.

Speaker1: [00:02:25] Now, does the ECOS, does that apply to all watercraft or just like personal [00:02:30] watercraft, like jet skis?

Speaker2: [00:02:32] It actually now applies to all watercraft under 26 feet if you have one installed. And that became a really big question. And you know, I'm a safety advocate, as you know, and really try to ensure people are having a good time out on the water. My boat does not have one installed on it. I have a 1987 and so I don't have one on my boat, so I don't have to go get one installed. But for those that do have it on board. Every jet ski, I [00:03:00] think now it does have it on and most power boats that are now being built and a lot of boats just had them put out because it was a good safety feature. So if you have one, you have to have it attached. You don't have to go get one installed.

Speaker1: [00:03:14] Makes common sense to have it. And I know, you know, you see them on snowmobiles and even some motorcycles and other types of ATVs. And so why not on the water as well? Because a runaway boat can certainly be a [00:03:30] huge hazard.

Speaker2: [00:03:33] It truly can. And I like how you phrase that. So actually, I was talking with somebody the other day and they they referred to it as an interesting terminology, but they also have one on their treadmill. So it's something that people are very used to, depending on what your recreation is, whether you're doing on a treadmill, you're on a motorcycle. Yeah, I've got one on my snowmobile and the first thing you do is you hook it on. And it's the same reason so that if something happens, [00:04:00] it shuts the engine off, which again makes everybody safe, including the captain of the boat. Because if you are operating a boat in fallout, there's a potential your boat could actually run over you. So it provides safety for everybody. And it's just part of that, you know, the opportunity when you're getting ready to go, make sure you're set, attach it to your life jacket, attach it to your bathing suit. So it's just another one of those checkmark safety things that you have when you get your boat trailer ready, getting your boat ready. You're checking to make sure you have all the equipment, making sure you have [00:04:30] the life jackets for everybody on board. So just another way that I like to say make it fun for everybody. Take care of the safety stuff before you even head out on the water.

Speaker1: [00:04:41] One of the other regulations, and there are a number of them that the boaters and watercraft operators should keep in mind, is is Brianna's law. Talk a little bit about the importance of of that law.

Speaker2: [00:04:54] Brianna's law has been put in place that by 2025, everyone who operates a motor boat [00:05:00] in New York State has to have taken their boat certification. Because the nice thing is our friends at the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Power Squadron, sheriffs, volunteers with New York state Parks all teach the class. So it's something that is really readily available, especially in the spring. Right now, they're still doing classes so folks can go online and check to see if a class is available. It ratchets up every year by age. But what I've suggested to folks is it's a great family opportunity to take it together. [00:05:30] You can also go online and take it. You know, there is a benefit from it as well as most boat insurance companies will actually give you a discount if you've taken the course. And again, it just provides everybody with the knowledge base to be a good, safe boater out there. I mean, boats are getting bigger, faster, more powerful. So just being aware of the different types and we have to take a road test for our car. You don't have to take a road test for a boat. But, you know, to get your permit, you've got to go through the book. You have [00:06:00] to know what the stop sign is what you call the red light, green light, yellow light, so, you know, you need to know red, right, returning. You need to know what the red buoy and the green buoy are. So boating is no different than any other motorized activity that we do motorcycles, snowmobile, ATV, and it just gives everybody the sense of security and safety when they're out there. It's a great thing to do with the family to help get them ready. And anybody over 10 is going to have taken it starting in 2025. So great opportunity now. Get [00:06:30] ahead of yourself, take it with the family and be ready to go.

Speaker1: [00:06:34] Talking with Dave White from New York Sea Grant at 8:22 on this Monday of National Safe Boating Weekend. One of the other things that is is being concentrated on this year is keeping your water craft clean. And of course, that is to prevent the the transfer of invasive species from one body of water to another.

Speaker2: [00:06:57] Yeah, and that's always an issue of concern [00:07:00] because critters move around like we do, and that's one thing that folks really don't often think about. I mean, we all love to travel. And when we travel, you know, it's really easy for us to pick up things and bring them back as well. Boating is no different. So if you're going to be boating in multiple bodies of water, in between you want to do the clean drain dry, know, make sure you're cleaning up any product that you see. You're draining your life well, you're draining your bilge. You dry it off, making sure the trailer in the boat are both clean. You know, what a lot of folks [00:07:30] do is they're run it through a car wash for a couple of bucks, hose off the bottom of the boat, take the trailer off, which is really good for the trailer and the boat itself to get any product off of it. You know, and as I'm sitting here, Steve, I literally am looking out at my two person kayak. And one thing, paddle sports is huge. A paddle sport is a great way to get into boating, but it is boating.

Speaker2: [00:07:53] Kayak, paddleboard, pedal paddleboard, paddle pedal kayak. We've got it all. Those [00:08:00] can also be real opportunities to transfer invasive species because it's hard to get the water out. So make sure that, you know, when you're taking that kayak or canoe or you're paddleboard from one body of water to another and many of us do that. I take mine back and forth. But, you know, I'm always checking it to make sure I've got no water in it. I've wiped it down, which again is keeping it clean. It's keeping it making it last longer for me as well. But that's one thing a lot of folks forget about, is there's a lot of nooks and crannies in a kayak. [00:08:30] So, you know, making sure that we're getting all of the water from one body of water before we go into another is really important. So, you know, no matter what kind of boat we have, whether it be that paddle craft on up through our boat sailboats, we always want to be checking it to make sure we're not transferring critters from one body of water to another.

Speaker1: [00:08:48] Dave, as always, a wealth of information from you and in a way that everybody understands about it. And if you want to get more information, you can go to NYSeaGrant [00:09:00].org and enjoy this National Safe Boating Week and the entire summer. And hopefully it's going to be a good one for everybody on the lakes and waterways.

Speaker2: [00:09:13] Absolutely. Be safe, be seen, but have fun because just the wealth of opportunity we have to enjoy our waterways. We can't find that anywhere else in the world. So have a great summer.

Speaker1: [00:09:24] You too. And we'll talk again soon. Dave, thanks very much, as always.

Speaker2: [00:09:28] Look forward to it.

Speaker1: [00:09:29] My friend Dave [00:09:30] White from the New York Sea Grant has been our guest. It is 8:25 on the Finger Lakes Morning News.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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