Skip to main content

New York senator seeks capacity regulations on boats

In the wake of a recent tragedy, the waters of enforcement for boaters who overcrowd their vessels are still murky.

After the high-profile case of three children who died when a 34-foot Silverton cruiser carrying 27 people capsized July 4 in Oyster Bay, another apparent overcrowding situation occurred, according to a Riverhead (N.Y.) Patch article.

A few days after the tragedy, five people packed a paddleboat meant for two on Wading River in Suffolk County, N.Y., and a wave overturned the boat. Riverhead police and other responders brought all who were thrown into Long Island Sound screaming for help — including a 7-year-old boy — to safety.

Despite wide public attention, officials say state laws in New York don't address the problem of overcrowding on recreational boats.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Coast Guard to set capacity limits for large recreational boats, according to a Newsday article.

Schumer, D-N.Y., also wants the Coast Guard to require that capacity and weight limits be posted on boats longer than 20 feet, according to the publication. The Coast Guard currently has capacity limits for boats less than 20 feet.

The parents of Victoria Gaines — the 7-year-old who was killed along with the Kandi Won owner's daughter, Harlie Treanor, 11, and Harlie's cousin David Aureliano, 12, in the July 4 accident — joined Schumer's call for the regulation. The rule also would require that, when posted, capacity limits appear visible to crewmembers and passengers.

The tragedy "never should have happened," Paul Gaines said at a press conference on Sunday, his voice cracking as his wife held a framed photo of their daughter.

Sally Drake, a spokeswoman for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, told Riverhead Patch that all regulations about capacity on boats are federally determined.

No federal regulations exist regarding capacity on recreational boats sized similarly to the boats involved in the recent Long Island accidents, Drake told Riverhead Patch.

The Coast Guard can enforce safety equipment standards and cite boat owners who do not adhere to regulations.

Click here for the Riverhead Patch article and click here for the Newsday report.

Related

1_AdobeStock_175388620

Clearing the Waterways

In Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it was estimated that there were 6,000 derelict boats in southwest part of the state. In most cases, boat owners don’t know resources are available to remove them because until recently there weren’t many.

1_AdobeStock_40421038

A Window on the World

Inflation, supply-chain kinks and the continuing war in Ukraine continue to be serious concerns, but numerous companies with a global presence for exports are reporting optimism at the start of 2023.

1_BRP

BRP Announces Mexico Production Facility

The $165 million plant will open in early 2025 in Chihuahua and create up to 1,300 jobs while bolstering production capabilities.

1_COAST. GUARD.FOUNDATION

C.G. Foundation Announces Scholarships

The program each year awards more than $500,000 to qualifying children of active duty, active duty reserve and retired Coast Guard members.

PROPSPEED-HIRES

Propspeed Expands U.S. Sales Team

Josh McGuire and Cole Barone were named regional sales managers for the Northeast and West Coast.

NEWPORT-IMPACT

Newport Boat Show Had $26.1M Impact

The September show drew more than 40,000 attendees last year, with boat sales estimated at $35 million to $40 million.

AdobeStock_182031788

Consumers Feel a Bit Better

A key measure of U.S. consumer confidence rose in December as the economy added 223,000 jobs, the smallest gain in two years. The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 108.3 from 101.4 in November.

1_AdobeStock_272924647

How the ABYC Creates Standards

Standards are a full-time mission for the ABYC that goes beyond simply putting out a new supplement every July. As an organization built on a tradition of common-sense and real-world experiences, the ABYC works on standards development year-round with its Project Technical Committees.

1_5d02b934eb29f602144abe88

Year Three of Five

Fear of an impending exodus, especially with concerns about a looming economic recession, has leaders at the MRAA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation urging the industry to start focusing immediately on improving customer service as the primary way to retain these boaters.