Practice safe boating this summer

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According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities. It affects judgment, vision, balance and coordination, which increases the likelihood of an accident. Boat drivers who are under the influence are more likely to capsize their craft, and passengers who have been drinking are more likely to fall overboard and drown.

• Wear a lifejacket, or have one within reach for everyone in the boat. The Coast Guard estimates that lifejackets could have saved the lives of more than 80 percent of boating fatality victims. Children under age 12 must wear a lifejacket at all times unless they are in a fully enclosed cabin, and that should be the guideline for adults as well.

The Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters take advantage of the agency’s free vessel safety check program. For more information, visit and click on “vessel safety checks.”

Whether you’re planning a short trip on the bay or a cruise on the high seas this summer, make sure you and your boating companions are safe. Bon voyage!

Safe boating classes

New York state safe boating classes are sponsored by Safe Boating America and taught by state-certified instructors. The comprehensive course teaches the fundamentals of safe boating operation, including how to deal with accidents and emergencies, navigation, and other boat-related activities. If you are 18 or older, the course is not required to operate a motorized boat in New York, but it is required for those using personal watercraft (Jet Skis, for example). The classes cost $60, and online pre-registration is required. Bring your paid receipt to class.

Here is a list of locations where the classes are offered.

• June 1, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
East Rockaway Recreation Center
17 John St., East Rockaway

• June 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
North Bellmore Public Library
1551 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore

• June 15, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Freeport Recreation Center
140 E. Merrick Road, Freeport

• June 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Oceanside American Legion
3078 Lawson Blvd., Oceanside

A complete list of class locations and dates can be found at

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