Boating safety bill nears passage in Connecticut

Powerboat operators would have to be at least 16 and complete a course in safe towing under the bill.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Powerboat operators would have to be at least 16 and complete a course in safe towing under a bill approved by the Connecticut legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Monday in response to last summer's death of Greenwich teenager Emily Fedorko.

Called "Emily's Law" in memory of the 16-year-old high school girl who was killed by the propeller of a boat operated by a friend, the bill moves to the full state Senate for action.

The bill has changed somewhat since it was introduced in January. Originally it would have prohibited anyone under the age of 18 from towing water skiers or tubers. However, the age was lowered during legislative negotiations.

State Rep. Fred Camillo, R-Greenwich, said the goal has always been to promote water safety.

"Accidents can happen," he said in a Monday interview with The Connecticut Post. "You can never legislate to the point where it's 100 percent foolproof. It was incumbent upon us to make sure that when there's a tragedy like this, you look at the laws and the regulations so the chances of this happening in the future are diminished."

Republican Sen. L. Scott Frantz, who is also from Greenwich, said the bill was a compromise after the boating industry balked at raising the age to 18.

"Most kids brought up in boating families, they're out water skiing at age 8 or 10, and at 12-1/2 they can operate a 1,000-horsepower boat and tow other kids," Frantz said. "That strikes me as ridiculous."

He said the Fedorko family supports the legislation, along with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the boating industry.

Related

Argos 3D Forward Looking Sonar

For 20 Years, FarSounder has been developing and manufacturing 3D forward-looking sonar for vessels of all sizes.

Dometic Marine Appoints Executives

The company promotes a 20-plus-year employee and adds a vice president of aftermarket sales and e-commerce.

IMEA Launches Scholarship Program

The International Marine Electronics Alliance aims to recruit students into the field of marine technology.

RBFF Campaign Reels in Awards

The fishing-and-boating advocacy group’s Get on Board campaign was recognized by two national public relations organizations.

Suzuki’s Clean Ocean Project

Testing of the engine manufacturer’s microplastics filtering device continues as it moves closer to production. The company also released its full-year financials.

Uflex Adds to Sales and Marketing Team

The company said significant growth during the last few years created the need to add three employees.

NMTA Beats Proposal To Double Excise Tax

It’s just one example of the value of belonging to a state or local marine trade association. Are you a member of an MTA?