Boating safety measures are being stepped up in Huntington for the annual Lighthouse Music Fest to be held Saturday.
A 5-mph boating speed limit will be imposed within a half-mile of the Huntington Lighthouse in Huntington Harbor, officials said in a news release. The speed limit will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Additionally, a safety zone will be established around the lighthouse to keep vessels clear of the dock and rocks, and to protect swimmers. Increased patrols will be conducted during the event by the Huntington Town harbormaster working with the Suffolk County Police Department, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Lloyd Harbor Village harbormaster.
The town board in recent years sought and gained approval for a special resolution to set a temporary 5-mph speed limit around the Huntington Lighthouse during its annual music festival to help control crowds.
Law enforcement boats will be located throughout the area to help ensure an orderly dispersal of visitors after the event and to optimize response time for boats in need of assistance, officials said.
The increased safety measures followed the death of three children on July 4, 2012, when a 34-foot boat the children were in capsized after a fireworks display in Oyster Bay Harbor. The accident happened after the boat, and dozens of others at the event, created what investigators called dangerous conditions while attempting to leave to avoid an approaching storm.