Supervisor Lupinacci: "There will be new enforcement measures in place this Fourth of July so everyone can safely enjoy local fireworks displays off Huntington’s beautiful shores."
Halesite, NY - July 4, 2018 - Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Councilwoman Joan Cergol and Councilman Ed Smyth were joined by New York State Assemblyman Andrew Raia, Senior Harbormaster Fred Uvena and members of the Greater Huntington Council of Yachting and Boating Clubs and the Huntington Beach Community Association for a press conference at the Town Harbormaster’s office to announce boating safety enforcement plans, including temporary reduced speed zones during Fourth of July fireworks displays, boating emergency pickup locations and increased enforcement against unsafe and intoxicated boaters on Huntington’s waterways.
"This past weekend, the Town Harbormaster’s office had over two dozen incidents – between speeding summons and boat stops conducted, where they boarded vessels with reasonable cause," said Supervisor Lupinacci. "Our Bay Constables are out patrolling the waters from 7am until 2 o’clock in the morning every day, on call 24-7, to ensure all boaters are boating safely and following the rules in place to protect us all. There will be new enforcement measures in place this Fourth of July so everyone can safely enjoy local fireworks displays off Huntington’s beautiful shores."
Just 6 years ago in 2012, three local children died when the boat they were on capsized in Oyster Bay after a Fourth of July fireworks display.
During the hours between 8:30 PM and 11:00 PM on the evening of July 4, the Town is implementing and enforcing temporary 5 MPH boating speed zones in the waters off Huntington’s harbors and shores on the Long Island Sound, as indicated in the attached map. The map also lists eight boating emergency pickup locations: Powles Dock, Lloyd Neck Bath Club, Huntington Town Dock, Huntington Bay Club, Huntington Beach Community Association Dock, Northport Yacht Club, Soundview Boat Ramp, and the Eaton's Neck Coast Guard Station.
“Just yesterday, Senior Harbormaster Fred Uvena, Deputy Director of Maritime Services Dom Spada and our Bay Constables spent the majority of the day at West Beach on Eaton’s Neck removing debris from Connecticut docks that had become dislodged, floated across the Sound and became navigational hazards that could have caused harm to life and property near our shorelines,” said the Supervisor.
The debris cleanup operation is still underway, as Town boats were filled to capacity Monday.
Councilwoman Joan Cergol said, “Boating is an important part of Summer life on Long Island, as are Fourth of July Fireworks shows. By taking some simple precautions, and by operating boats responsibly, we hope that all of our residents will enjoy the fireworks displays and get home safely.”
Councilman Ed Smyth added: “Have a Happy and Safe July Fourth. Respect the waters and please don’t be a statistic and example we use next year.”
"On the Fourth of July tomorrow, there will be many, many boats on the water, so it is imperative that everybody follows the rules of the water but not just on the Fourth of July. Every day people should observe the rules of the water. Everyone on the water should at some point get a Boating Safety Certificate and together we can all work to make our waterways safe," said Assemblyman Andrew Raia.
Senior Harbormaster Fred Uvena offered words of caution: “To all boaters who will be watching the fireworks: low tide will be at 10:53 PM on the evening of July Fourth. Upon returning, please follow all navigational buoys and stay at a slow speed while returning to your homeports.”
Recent incidents in waters off the Town of Huntington underscore the importance of boating safety and staying free of alcohol while operating a boat. It is reported that 16% of boating accidents occur as a result of Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and over 20% of all boating fatalities are a result of alcohol-impaired boaters.