Lido Beach, NY – The week leading up to Memorial Day Weekend denotes National Safe Boating Week, an important observance that raises awareness about the significance of boater safety. In response to this nautical week, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin has joined with the town’s Bay Constables to share vital boating safety precautions and tips with residents as they gear up for a busy boating season. What’s more, the Bay Constables reiterated Hempstead Town’s zero-tolerance policy for boating while intoxicated as well as other unsafe boating operations on town waterways.
“Memorial Day Weekend is the official kick-off to beach and boating season,” said Clavin. “We want our residents to enjoy themselves as they traverse the Town of Hempstead’s pristine waterways. Our highly-skilled Bay Constables will be out in full force patrolling accessible sailing routes to ensure safety all throughout the season.”
The U.S. Coast Guard reported more than 5,000 boating accidents in 2020 that resulted in close to 800 deaths as a result of the accidents, with reports from 2021 showing similar figures, including an increase in purchases of boats. Nearly seven out of every eight drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket – an avoidable issue as the officials observed. Alcohol is a substantial contributing factor in boating deaths, and its effects are enhanced by the movement of the water and exposure to the elements. Additionally, the officials and Bay Constables outlined the dangers of a boat engine, highlighting the importance of an engine cut-off switch and detailing the correct way to avoid the hazardous propellers. The top five primary contributing factors in accidents were operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed and machinery failure.
“During this important week, we urge boaters to be as safe as possible as they navigate the beautiful waterways of Hempstead Town,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.
“Town of Hempstead Bay Constables perform an invaluable service to Town of Hempstead residents, especially the boaters traversing town waterways,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. “National Safe Boating Week is an important observance to remind boaters of safety measures that may be overlooked.”
Supervisor Clavin strongly recommended that local mariners take a boater safety course and obtain a free safety inspection, which can be secured through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron, among other local organizations. The Supervisor also urged boaters to create their own personalized “Float Plans,” in which they inform a friend or family member of where they will be sailing and for how long, information that can prove critical in the event of an emergency. Boaters should also have the following items on board their vessel:
• Life jackets and throwable flotation devices
• Fire extinguishers
• Signaling devices such as flares and flags
• Horns and whistles
• First aid kit
• Oars and paddles
• Heavy duty flashlight
• A fully charged cell phone in a waterproof bag
“We have all the tools and education necessary to have a safe, successful boating season – now all we need to do is remember these valuable safety tips,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr.
“The Town of Hempstead is ready and prepared for a busy summer. From the Bay Constables on our waterways to the lifeguards on our beaches, safety is our top priority,” added Councilman Thomas Muscarella.
“By following the safety rules outlined here today, we can ensure a fun-filled kick-off to boating season this Memorial Day Weekend,” said Councilman Christopher Carini.
“Town of Hempstead Bay Constables do a tremendous job in keeping residents safe and patrolling town waterways,” said Councilwoman Melissa Miller. “But we still need boaters to be aware and responsible for the safety of themselves and others.”