Senator John Brooks, a Democrat from Seaford and the Senate Democratic Majority passed legislation on May 16 that will help prevent boating tragedies on New York waterways.
“Knowing the laws of the waterways is crucial,” Brooks said. “It is simply a matter of common sense that informed vessel-operators will result in safer waters. I am proud to have sponsored this bill in the Senate and am confident that it will save lives.”
Bill S.5685 — also known as Brianna’s Law, requires making boating safety courses and exams a prerequisite to steering boats on navigable waters. In other words, individuals are now required to take an in-person boating safety course and tests in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel.
Brianna’s Law is named after 11-year-old, Brianna Lieneck, from Deer Park, who was killed in a boating accident on August 17, 2005. The accident killed Brianna and critically injured her parents in a collision with another boat on the Great South Bay just east of the Robert Moses Bridge.
“The safety of our waterways in New York is every bit as important as the safety of our roadways,” Brooks said. “Brianna and her family paid the ultimate price from inadequate regulation.”
The bill has gone to the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts, & Sports Development, where it is expected to pass.