Boating season has arrived but staying safe on the water is key to enjoying our summer months here in CNY. NYS Sea Grant Coastal Recreation Specialist Dave White discusses the importance of boating safety this summer. 

With the change of the season from spring to summer comes the change in boating regulations. Every year, boaters can expect to see new safety regulations come into effect and must take note of them. This year, fire extinguishers on board must be within 12 years of their manufacturing dates. This is to make sure the fire extinguisher will be guaranteed to work in the event of an emergency. 

According to Dave White, taking that extra fifteen minutes to prepare before a boating outing will guarantee a great, safe time. This year, gas prices are part of that preparation because of their alarmingly high rates. However, Dave says gas prices shouldn’t stop you from getting out on the water this summer. 
When it comes to essentials, life jackets aren’t the only must-have on board. Flares, an SOS flag and any sound-producing device (even a whistle) are key safety tools that should be on board and readily accessible. 

Dave also reminds us that this is a great time to hop online and take a boating safety course. 

There is a plethora of rental boats available in CNY this summer. According to Dave, safety on a rental boat is a mutual responsibility. The vessel will be equipped with emergency equipment, and customers will be shown where the emergency equipment is as well as how to use it. Renting a boat is a great opportunity to try out boating this summer, from pontoon boats to canoes and kayaks. 

For more information on boating safety and Sea Grant, visit nyseagrant.org. For more information on the US Coast Guard, visit uscgboating.org.