May 28th, 2021 –Officials from Suffolk County, NYS Coast Guard and the Town of Islip gathered at a press conference to urge safe boating, as people gear up to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter was joined by Stuart Cameron, Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner, among others, to remind anyone who may be on the water this weekend to have fun, but to do so safely.
Boat sales skyrocketed last year during the pandemic, and the trend shows no signs of slowing in 2021. Last year, the number of first-time boat buyers rose for the first time in over 10 years, up 10%. Now, dealerships are struggling to maintain inventory, and manufacturers are expanding production capacity to meet demand. First-time buyers are entering the market in larger numbers. Sales of boats, marine products and services across the country leaped to a 13-year high in 2020 to $47 billion, increasing 9% from the prior year.
“With more boats on the water, we must be even more cautious now than ever before,” said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter. “We live in one of the most beautiful parts of Long Island. The Great South Bay offers something for everyone who loves to be on the water, from sailing, paddle boarding, to kayaking, wakeboarding, jet skiing and boating. Let’s keep it safe for everyone,” said Supervisor Carpenter.
Brianna’s Law went into effect on January 1st, 2020, requiring all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course by the year 2025. Under this law, new age groups are gradually added to those required to carry a boater card. The Town of Islip will be offering a boating safety course and details will be posted on the Town’s website, www.islipny.gov.
“What would otherwise be a minor emergency or inconvenience on land, can turn into a dire situation on the water if you’re not prepared,” said Acting Suffolk Police Commissioner, Stu Cameron. “Take that safety course even if it’s not required. You’ll definitely learn something and it will help you be more safe,” he said.
“Islip Town Harbor Patrol will be assisting the Suffolk County Police Department Marine Bureau doing safety checks,” said Islip Public Safety Commissioner, Anthony Prudenti. “If you see our harbor patrol pull up, be assured they are here to help, and they will go over your boat with you and do a checklist to make sure you have all the required equipment,” said Commissioner Prudenti.
Joining Supervisor Carpenter were: Retired US Navy Captain and Councilman, John Cochrane, Jr.; Dave Anderson, General Manager, Fire Island Ferries; Anthony Prudenti, Commissioner, Town of Islip Public Safety; Matthew Barbara, Surfside 3 Marina; Morgan Benggio, US Coast Guard; Tom Owens, Commissioner, Town of Islip Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs & DPW and Krupa Lauricella, Aide to Councilman James O'Connor.