Safe boating tools on tap starting this week

Festival-goers on boats listen to music at the Festival-goers on boats listen to music at the sixth annual Lighthouse Music Fest in Huntington. (Sept. 1, 2012) Photo Credit: Jin Lee

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The second Huntington Safe Boating Week being launched Saturday is to include specific events and courses aimed at keeping people safe on area waters, two years after three children died in a Fourth of July yachting accident.

"There will always be new people pursuing the sport of recreational boating, and it's important for them to know they need a baseline education to be safer on the water and enjoy the sport more," said Jackie Martin, commodore of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs.

Martin said the courses are also important for experienced boaters to take as refreshers.

Last year's 10-day event was driven by the July 4, 2012, boat capsizing in Oyster Bay that killed three children.

This year's event begins with a nautical market and fair at the Mill Dam Park and ballfield, with free boating-related seminars throughout the day, vendors selling different items and live music from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A free vessel safety check is to be offered on Sunday, so boaters can make sure they are complying with laws, without fear of summonses or fees.

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Several courses for boaters are planned throughout the week on topics including onboard emergencies, using GPS, and how to use a chart.

The event, which ends May 24, coincides with National Safe Boating Week, and is sponsored by the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs, the Town of Huntington, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Neptune Sail and Power Squadron, U.S. Power Squadron, U.S. Coast Guard and the Suffolk County Marine Police Bureau.

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