New York State Harbormaster & Bay Constable Association
Boating Safety
Why we enforce boating safety!
2015 National Safe Boating Week: May 16- 22

Beginning November 1, 2009,
Section 40, Subdivision 1 of the
Navigation Law shall be
amended by adding new
paragraph (e), which reads as

No owner or operator of a
pleasure vessel less than
twenty-one feet, including
rowboats, canoes, and kayaks
shall permit its operation,
between November first and May
first, unless each person on
board such vessel is wearing a
securely fastened United States
Coast Guard approved wearable
personal flotation device of an
appropriate size when such
vessel is underway.

Failure to wear a lifejacket on
such vessels will be considered
a violation under Section 73-c if
the Navigation Law and is
punishable by a fine of not less
than $25 nor more than $100,
applicable to either the operator
and/or the owner of the vessel.
Personal Watercraft Rentals

The Navigation Law has been
amended to extend the
expiration date of Section 73-a,
Subdivision 2, regarding the
rental of personal watercraft.
Persons over the age of 18
renting personal watercraft may
continue to operate them without
having to hold a boating safety
This provision, set to
expire on January 1, 2010, will
now expire in 2012.

No other changes have been
made to this section.
Life Jacket Law for Children
Under 12

New York State law requires children
under 12 years of age to wear a Type I or
Type II life jacket when on board any
vessel less than forty feet when
underway, and a Type I, II, or III when on
vessels 40 feet to 65 feet when
underway. The law does not apply when
children under 12 are within an
enclosed cabin.

Type I life jackets are for off-shore use.
They turn an unconscious person
face-up in the water. Type II jackets are
for near shore use. They are yolk-style
and are also designed to turn an
unconscious person face-up in the
water. Type III jackets are vest-style.
They are the most popular and
comfortable life jackets in use today for
children. They are designed for calm
waters use where quick rescue is likely.
They will NOT turn an unconscious
person face-up.

Boat Safely -
Wear your Life Jacket
What do you do when you
see a
Blue flashing light
on a marine patrol boat?

A marine patrol boat is an
"Emergency Vehicle" on the inland
bays and ocean. It's the same as a
police car on our highways. When
underway in your vessel and you
come upon a marine patrol boat
with a blue flashing light, you are to
slow down as to create NO WAKE
when passing. Most likely, that
marine patrol boat has another
vessel along side and a large wake
could damage the vessels and/or
injure persons on board. You are
responsible for your wake! If a
marine patrol boat comes upon
your vessel with a blue flashing
light and a siren, you are to slow
your vessel down and when safe to
do so, come to a complete stop
and put the engine in neutral. The
officer will instruct you with his
intentions and as to why he is
stopping your vessel. The marine
patrol boat will come along side
and possibly board your vessel.
50 percent of fatalities in the state’s waterways
are linked to alcohol. According to the Coast
Guard, a boat operator with a Blood Alcohol
Concentration (BAC) above 0.10 is more than 10
times as likely to be killed in a boating accident
as an operator who has consumed no alcohol.
Many boaters may not realize that drinking while
operating a boat is even more dangerous than
drinking and driving. Research shows that a few
hours of exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise,
vibration, and other motion on the water produces
a kind of fatigue known as “boater’s hypnosis”,
which slows reaction time almost as much as if
you were legally drunk. Adding alcohol to boating
intensifies these effects.