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Oyster Bay Town accepts donated rescue gear

The Oyster Bay Town Board on Tuesday accepted a donation of underwater rescue equipment that was spurred by a fatal boating accident in local waters last year.

The town accepted the donation of four Rapid Diver Underwater Rescue Devices, each worth $1,800, from the Bay Constable Benevolent Association. The organization purchased the specialized and streamlined scuba gear with funds from a grant.

The association of Long Island bay constables offered the equipment to four towns to try to prevent deaths in boating accidents like the one on July 4, 2012, in which three children drowned when the Kandi Won capsized after a fireworks display.

The group gave two of the units to the town yesterday because two full-time bay constables had volunteered and have already taken the free training course arranged by the association.

Supervisor John Venditto said "the plan is that when the two full-timers are out there they will have the equipment with them."

He added that "we will exhort more bay constables to volunteer to take the training" so that the association will turn over the two remaining units.

Venditto said if the association agreed, the other two units could be used by two part-timers who had been trained.

Hempstead, North Hempstead and Huntington had previously accepted units from the association and are already using them on their boats.

The units incorporate a small scuba tank, breathing regulator and buoyancy vest as well as a second tank and regulator to provide air for someone trapped underwater.

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