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Huntington Boating safety week kicks off

From left: Nathanael Meltz and Jake Buntin of

From left: Nathanael Meltz and Jake Buntin of the U.S. Coast Guard dock their boat in Huntington, as the town kicked off its second annual boat safety week at Mill Dam Park, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Boating enthusiasts launched the second annual Huntington Safe Boating Week Saturday with a harborside fair featuring seminars, face painting and live music at Mill Dam Park in Halesite.

Maritime groups organized the event after three children died in a boating accident in Oyster Bay on July 4, 2012.

"I thought this would be a nice way to bring the focus back to having fun on the water and being safe at the same time," said Jackie Martin, commodore of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs, which organized the event along with Huntington Town, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and other groups.

On Saturday, boating experts held safety seminars in a tent while families perused outdoor tables where they could sign up for boating classes, buy nautically themed artwork or sit with a palm reader.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Huntington Town Bay Constables displayed their boats at a nearby dock. "We're pushing for more boater education," said Harbormaster Ryan Sammis. "We're trying to encourage everybody to take the classes."

Sunday, the Neptune Sail and Power Squadron and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary plan to perform boat safety checks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at several marinas, docks and boat ramps in town.

Throughout the week, the U.S. Power Squadrons, a nonprofit boating education group, will teach classes on reading charts, operating marine radios and responding to onboard emergencies.

The safety programs were launched after David Aureliano, 12, of Kings Park, Harlie Treanor, 11, of Huntington Station, and Victoria Gaines, 7, of Huntington died in the July Fourth 2012 Oyster Bay boating accident.The children were trapped in the cabin when the Kandi Won, a 34-foot Silverton cabin cruiser with 27 people aboard, capsized on its return to Huntington after a fireworks display.

The Nassau County district attorney's office later issued a report stating that overloading was the primary cause of the accident based on stability tests of the recovered boat.

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