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Huntington to hold boater safety forum

A Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau police boat

A Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau police boat cuts through the water as it operates in the Great South Bay. (July 1, 2012) Credit: Newsday/ Thomas A. Ferrara

Town of Huntington officials next month will present a forum on boating in crowded waters. The session follows the tragedy in which three children died when a boat they were passengers on capsized as dozens of vessels left Oyster Bay after a July Fourth fireworks display.

Boating experts will answer questions during the one-hour session designed to prepare members of the boating community for real-life experiences they might face on the waters.

"This recent tragedy serves as an unfortunate reminder that events such as fireworks displays that attract large numbers of boaters present different challenges in navigating the waters around Long Island," town Supervisor Frank Petrone said. "We hope that this forum will serve as a refresher for boaters, reminding them of what to look out for, what to do and what not to do when our harbors and bays experience congestion due to events."

The forum is being held in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and Auxiliary, Suffolk County Police Marine Division, Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs, Huntington harbormaster's office, Neptune Sail and Power Squadron, Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, and local fire departments and incorporated villages, town officials said.

The July Fourth accident involved a 34-foot cabin cruiser with 27 people aboard that capsized as numerous boats attempted to leave the bay at the same time.

The forum will be held Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the town board meeting room at Town Hall, 100 Main St.

Preregister by contacting the Huntington harbormaster's office at 631-351-3192 or by sending an email to Maritime@HuntingtonNY.gov.

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