In response to the death of a 12-year-old boy in Northport, officials will introduce legislation which will require guards around all vessels used for boating safety instruction for anyone under the age of 18.
The tragic accident happened in July at the Centerport Yacht Club. The young boy was taking sailing lessons and fell off the instructor’s Zodiak during a capsizing drill. The victim became caught in the boat’s propeller and was killed.
According to statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, last year, there were 171 boating accidents across the country and at least one person was struck by a propeller. There were 24 people killed and another 175 people injured in these accidents.
Boating safety advocates say that the type of terrible accident that happened to this young victim could have been avoided if the boat was equipped with a guard. These guards protect anyone who falls off the boat from becoming pulled into the propeller.
The price of these guards range anywhere from $120 to $150 and lawmakers say several of the proposals would offer tax credits to help defray the price of the guards.
New York State Assembly Andrew Raia said he plans on proposing a bill to lawmakers in Albany. Other officials from Suffolk County said they also plan on introducing similar legislation. One of the Suffolk County officials is a member of the yacht club where the incident took place and knows the boy’s family.
Dr. William Spencer says the family is devastated, but will support any measure which will help prevent another family from suffering the same loss.
The price of the guards range anywhere from $120 to $150 and lawmakers say several of the proposals would offer tax credits to help defray the price of the guards.
Upon hearing about the proposed legislation, Attorney Neal Goldstein commented, “No family should ever have to endure the loss of a child, especially in such a horrific way. Lawmakers need to make sure some version of this bill gets passed and becomes law ASAP.”