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New law allows lifeguards to use Jet Skis

Lifeguards can now use personal watercraft such as Jet Skis to patrol the waters and perform rescues due to a new state law signed into law last week.

State Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) said he sponsored the bill, along with state Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), after being contacted by John Ryan of the Hampton Lifeguard Association about the restriction in the law.

“According to Mr. Ryan, personal watercraft are faster and more able to negotiate rough surf, permitting lifeguards to better protect public beaches. In particular, it can get emergency personnel to unprotected areas where an emergency might exist,” Thiele said in a statement.

Previously, law prohibited lifeguards and other rescue agencies from using Jet Skis or any motorized water vehicle less than 16 feet in length.

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