On YouTube: NYSG Provides Free Safety Boating Certification at State's Largest, Oldest Boat Show
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

NYSG's Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White sat down with the hosts of WWNY-TV 7's News This Morning a few days ahead of the training, which took place at the 2020 Central New York Boat Show at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY


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

Syracuse, NY, Feb. 24, 2020 - This past weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and New York Sea Grant (NYSG) offered youth ages 10 to 17 the boater safety course required for them to legally operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on NY waters. 

The certification was taught by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 21 personnel and included a same-day proctored exam.

Each youth who registered for the course received three free admission passes to the CNY Boat Show, the State’s largest and oldest boat show, with more than 500 boats of all types.

While at the Central New York Boat Show, New York Sea Grant's Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White and CNY Boat Show Manager Drew Wickham teamed up to create "Ride The Wave with Safety Dave," a series of informative video clips in which the pair offered safety tips to help serve as reminders that boaters need to keep themselves and pets safe while on the water. The series was originally offered up in a series of clips that aired on the Central New York Boat Show's Facebook page.

As mentioned in the above clip filed by CNY Central, there were more than 500 models of power and sail boats at the boat show, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft and docks. The entire building — over 200,000 square feet of exhibit space — was filled with exhibits, included water recreation equipment; marine accessories; boating and fishing guides; as well as exhibits by yacht clubs; waterfront destinations and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

“We are the largest boat show in New York State,” said Wickham on TV9's Bridge Street, which reported from the show. “You don’t necessarily need to have anything in mind other than you want to get out on the water. Our dealers will help you figure out what kind of boat you want based on what you want to do, what lakes you’re on or what bodies of water you’re near.”

As highlighted in the above clip from SpectrumTV, Brianna’s Law has taken effect and at the forefront of this year’s New York State Fairgrounds Boat Show for some is boater safety.

The new law requires boaters aged 10 or older driving powerboats to be certified and complete a one-time eight-hour safety course. It was being offered for free on Saturday at this event.

Tyler Pelim and his mother were at the Boat Show's boater safety information section. The young boy has already taken the safety course.

“He's able to sail his own sailboat already,” remarked his mother with a smile.

However, initially, she was apprehensive about him operating a sailboat at his age.

“When we first went for the first day honestly I was scared,” she revealed.

Yet her fear as a mother was natural and it was before she saw him sail smoothly. She also calmed her fear with knowledge on boating safety as well.

“I was confident because [Tyler] had the information he needed to do it properly,” she said.

The safety course teaches everything from maintaining regulated speeds, equipment training such as using life vests, and knowing when boating equipment works and a zero-tolerance policy on drinking while maneuvering.

The new law mandates the eight-hour course be completed to receive a certification allowing boaters to use the waters freely. It’s an expansion of the navigation law that previously asked boaters being born after 1996 to present a certification. 

But now, since “Brianna,” whom this law is named after perished, boaters born after 1978 must get certified as well.

- If born on or after January 1, 1993, you need a certificate by this year
- If born on or after January 1,  1988, you need a certificate by 2022
- If born on or after January 1, 1983, you need a certificate by 2023
- If born on or after January 1, 1978, you need a certificate by 2024

You must be at least 10 years of age to complete a safety course. Gene Little, a branch assistant for the Paddlecraft Safety Operations Ashore, couldn’t help stress the importance of these courses.

“In 2010 and 2018, we have averaged for deaths 71-84 percent where deaths incurred had not taken any safety courses,” he said.

Some Central New Yorkers have speculated concern and irritation over the new law, but Tyler’s mother thinks to cope with a mild nuisance is worth it if it might save a life.

"Even the most educated boater can be put in an unnecessary situation by other people who don't necessarily know the rules," she said.

For more information on where to enroll in courses you can go to WearItNewYork, CGAUX, America's Boating Club, and U.S. Power Boating.

Dave White's NYSG "Boating and Marine Trades" content can be found at www.nyseagrant.org/marina. He also has information on Great Lakes shipwrecks at www.nyseagrant.org/shipwreck.

To learn more about U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 21, visit their Facebook page.

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, 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. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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