More people need boating safety certificate this year

CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) – If you’re going to operate a boat, some New Yorkers need to make sure they complete a boater’s safety course. A law put in place in 2019 requires its completion.

“You learn all the do’s to do, the dont’s to don’t do. You learn the basics, you learn everything that you need to know out there,” said Mike Leviker, instructor, NYS Boaters Safety Certification Course.

Brianna’s Law, named after an 11-year-old girl who lost her life when an inexperienced boater struck her parents’ boat off Long Island, makes it necessary to complete the course depending on when you were born.

For 2023, anyone born on or after January 1, 1983, will need a boating safety certificate. Next year, it’ll include more people, including people born on or after January 1, 1978.

By 2025, everyone will need it.

“It’s all about safety out there. If you’re operating your boat, you’re the captain of the boat and anything that happens under your command behind that wheel, you’re responsible for,” said Leviker.

“You’re on the river in this neck of the woods this time of the year, you assume everybody in a boat does not have any idea what the rules of the road are,” said Jeff Garnsey, owner, Classic Island Cruises.

The 8-hour boater safety course can be taken either online or in person. Upcoming classes are being held locally in both Glenfield and Henderson.

“Fast is when you get in trouble. You can always recover when you’re going slow,” said Garnsey.

“Safety is the number one priority out there because on the water you may not get a second chance,” said Leviker.

Those renting a boat will now also need to take an instructional safety course before getting out on the water.

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