With the beginning of boating season underway and summer right around the corner, Long Island residents are boarding their boats and hitting the water. Despite packing snacks, sunglasses, and sunscreen, people may be forgetting the most essential thing to bring on a boat trip: sufficient knowledge of boat safety procedures.
On Sunday, May 21, America’s Boating Club-Patchogue Bay Power Squadron held a morning of boating safety from 10 a.m. to noon to provide boat safety education and demonstrate proper safety procedures to the boating community.
Since its founding in 1914, America’s Boating Club has been committed to making boating safer and more enjoyable through boating education and safety programs. To kick off the boating season, the Patchogue Bay Power Squadron gathers every May to discuss the importance of safety procedures and demonstrate the proper use of safety devices, including a variety of flares, fire extinguishers, and other beacons that alert boaters in the event of distress, injury, or other emergency. Squadron members brought their expired flares and fire extinguishers to give attendees an opportunity to learn how to operate fire extinguishers, ignite different kinds of flares, and practice using the devices themselves.
Members of the squadron also discussed the importance of developing an evacuation plan in the event that a fire is too large for the fire extinguisher. Yet, the most important safety procedure taught by Cmdr. Loretta Yeamans, of Farmingville, was also the most simple—wearing your lifejacket.
“We have seen so many incidents recently that just reinforces that we need to wear life preservers—for your dogs, for your pets, for your children,” Yeamans said. “The main thing we encourage is wearing life preservers. You can get lightweight life preservers now that inflate when they get wet, so it is a simple thing, but it saves your life.”
Whether you are a novice or an advanced member of the boating community, America’s Boating Club has a course for you. From two-hour seminars to six-week courses, offered in-person and online, certified members of the Patchogue Bay Power Squadron teach classes that fit your needs.
One of the most popular courses is the America’s Boating Course, nicknamed the ABC Course by the squadron, which offers students the hands-on experience of learning in their own boat.
“We offer them on-the-water training in which we teach them how to take the boat out safely, how to get in and out of the slip, and how to anchor,” said D3 Cmdr. John Yeamans, describing the basic education offered in this class. “We also teach people what happens when you fall in the water and know what to have on the boat.”
The America’s Boating Club-Patchogue Bay Power Squadron also offers advanced courses in which experienced members of the boating community can enhance their boating skills and practice their knowledge of safety procedures.
“Even if you can say you have been a boater for 20 years, joining an education class can give pointers that they were never aware of. When [an emergency] happens at a most inopportune time, having some kind of instruction and coming to a class is important because then you can reflect back and remember how to create a safe environment,” said future Cmdr. Vito Carnazza of Bayport, emphasizing the importance of experienced boaters taking education classes.
By January 2025, all operators of motorized watercraft, including Jet Skis, will be required to attain a New York State Boating Certification. The America’s Boating Club-Patchogue Bay Power Squadron offers a formal eight-hour course with a certified exam approved by New York State, which covers everything on boating safety and the rules of the water.
As this boating season begins, the America’s Boating Club-Patchogue Bay Power Squadron encourages the boating community to get certified, get educated on boating safety, and get out on the water.
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