---- — MASSENA — Most boating accidents are preventable, says the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla at Massena.
While the boating season awaits the thaw, it’s not too early to prepare, a press release said. The flotilla offers a series of About Boating Safely classes at the Hawkins Point Visitors Center.
“Hypothermia is especially dangerous for boaters at the beginning of the boating season. Water temperature is often mistakenly believed to be warmer than it actually is. Boaters should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.”
As well, the release reminds people to be extremely careful when venturing out on any ice-covered water.
“The thickness of ice can be deceiving, and tragedies can occur quickly.”
WEAR LIFE JACKETS
The legal age to operate a boat in New York without adult supervision is 18, unless the person at the helm has completed a safe-boating course and is between the ages of 10 and 18.
New York state requires that operators of personal watercraft ages 14 to 18 complete a safety course or be accompanied on board by a person 18 or older who holds a safety certificate.
Youths younger than 14 may operate the personal watercraft if there is a certified operator older than 18 on board.
Wearing a life jacket (personal flotation device) is one of the most important elements in preventing tragedies while boating, the release said.
And the flotilla reminds boaters that there are penalties and fines in New York state for boating while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
The next About Boating Safely classes are tentatively set for: Wednesdays and Thursdays, April 24 and 25, May 22 and 23, June 19 and 20, July 17 and 18, and Saturday, March 23.
Preregistration is required.
For more information and to sign up, call (315) 250-3049.