Letters: Teach boating safety classes

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern, with (l-r) safe

Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern, with (l-r) safe boating advocate Joseph Genovese, Town of Babylon Councilman Lindsay Henry, Past Commodore of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs Jon Ten Haagen (cq), and safe boating advocate, Gina Lieneck, behind him, speaks at a press conference at Tanner Park in Copiague introducing the new boater safety law which will require all boaters operating a vessel on Suffolk County waterways to complete an approved boating safety course. (Aug. 6, 2012) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

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I am writing in response to "Support for mandatory boating-safety class" [News, Aug. 7]. As a lifelong boater and resident of Long Island, I have spent countless hours enjoying our beautiful waters with my friends and family.

Our beaches, boating, sailing and fishing are among the best features of the quality of life we cherish. But unfortunate recent events have shown us that a beautiful day at sea can turn tragic at a moment's notice.

I have a captain's license and master certification from the U.S. Coast Guard and have spent many hours training in boating safety. I strongly support the proposed Safer Waterways Act and urge the Suffolk County Legislature to pass it without delay.

Unbelievably, there is no requirement for adults in New York State to learn about boating safety to operate a pleasure craft. This law would require all boat operators to complete an approved safety course, which would provide essential training about navigation, equipment and emergency response. Local power squadrons and Coast Guard Auxiliaries teach these courses.

No class can prevent all accidents. But more than common sense is needed to safely operate a boat in Long Island's busy waters.

Steven Rossetti, Huntington

As a lifelong boater I have seen many accidents waiting to happen on the water. All the regulations in the world won't fix a lack of common sense. But note all the politicians jumping on board for the fix!

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Paul Rodechko, Lake Grove

Don't we have enough laws? Why should the boating public be penalized with more legislation? New laws are not the solution for commonsense problems.

Robert Nielsen, Baldwin

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