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Coast Guard chase ends in BWI charges

A Coast Guard chase Monday near Great Kills, N.Y., resulted in a man being charged with drunken boating.

A boat crew from Station Sandy Hook, N.J., took a man into custody after he was reported to be intoxicated while boating.

National Safe Boating Week, which runs through Friday, marks the informal beginning of summer and Coast Guard crews are paying particular attention to recreational boating safety.

The Coast Guard crew approached the 26-foot boat for a routine recreational safety inspection at about 7 p.m. The vessel failed to stop and instead increased its speed and began erratic course alterations, traveling at speeds in excess of 40 mph, highly dangerous in a harbor as crowded as that of New York. The vessel finally stopped near Swinburne Island, N.Y., after a 10-minute pursuit.

The Coast Guard crew took the boater into custody, where he was charged with several violations, including failure to heave to, obstruction of a boarding, failure to stop, negligent operations and boating under the influence. He was then transferred to New York Police Department officials.

“Boating under the influence or boating while intoxicated is just as deadly as drinking and driving,” Lt. Cmdr. Frank Florio, chief of enforcement, Coast Guard Sector New York, said in a statement. “Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents and it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

For boating safety information, click on one of following:

Vessel safety checks

Coast Guard boating safety page

National Safe Boating Council

In 2012, New York had 197 boating accidents, resulting in 27 deaths.

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