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Letter: Boating Safety Bill

As the boating season begins, I’d like to inform readers of legislation I’ve introduced to make boating safer. This bill was the product of consensus with local boaters, boating community leaders and activists, and local law enforcement.

On July 4, 2012, the Long Island community experienced a tragedy when three Long Island children were killed after the boat they were on capsized in Oyster Bay following July 4th fireworks. While nothing we do today can change the past, we can honor their memory by ensuring no family has to endure the loss of a child because of inadequate safety measures.

That is why I introduced legislation that would help ensure the safety of boaters and our communities. The BOATS (Boating Occupancy And Teaching Safety) Act would require boats less than 45 feet in length to specify their maximum safe weight and capacity limit, and it would also provide grants for boating-safety classes. This is a common-sense bill that would help prevent future boating tragedies.

Boating is at the heart of what makes Long Island so special. It’s time our passion for boating is matched only by our enthusiasm for safety.

Congressman Steve Israel