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Capacity-limit legislation goes to Senate committee

A bill introduced last week by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that would require the posting of capacity limits on boats over 20 feet was recently referred to the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

In July, Schumer urged the Coast Guard to voluntarily adopt regulations after three children died when a 34-foot Silverton carrying 27 passengers capsized in Cove Neck after an Independence Day fireworks show.

Although an investigation examining the reasons for the capsizing is still under way, there have been “numerous questions raised about overall capacity capabilities for such vessels,” a statement from Schumer’s office said.

“This tragedy shocked New Yorkers and Americans across the country, and we vowed to do everything we could to prevent it from happening again,” Schumer said in a statement last week.

“Because the U.S. Coast Guard refuses to step up to the plate and require boats to post capacity limits, today I’m introducing legislation requiring them to do so. The Boat Capacity Standards Act of 2012 will ensure that all boaters, no matter the size of their vessel, are aware of how many people should be on board and will help honor the memory of the children who died on that terrible day.”

Click here to read the proposed legislation.

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