Huntington launched a campaign Friday to encourage people to enjoy the water and to follow safe boating practices.
Supervisor Ed Smyth and other officials reminded residents to follow the rules of operating a boat safely, including to not drive a boat while under the influence, and the need to obey speed limits. Others pointed out the need to know how to operate emergency radios, pointing out that, unlike cell phones that might reach just one service, radios can reach other boaters close at hand.
Smyth also reminded kayakers to stay out of channels, and “always assume that boaters don’t see you.” He also said that boaters needed to watch out for smaller vessels such as kayaks and canoes
Safe Boating Week gets underway Saturday, with free vessel safety checks.
The next day, the Waterfront Festival and Craft Fair at Mill Dam Park will be back for the first time since 2019. It will feature more than 150 vendors, with music, food, a beer tent, a visit by New York Islanders team members, a demonstration of the oyster reefing project going on in the harbor, knot tying and lectures on whaling from the Whaling Museum of Cold Spring Harbor.
Jackie Martin, executive officer of th Greater Huntington Boating Council, said Safe Boating Week was started by the group after the 2012 sinking and overturning of a boat in Oyster Bay that killed three children.
After that sinking, “We felt that it was important to educate boaters about safety on the water,” she said, noting that the town has 63 miles of waterfront.
“The Boating Council is extremely proud to bring back the Waterfront Festival and Craft Fair as part of our Safe Boating Week,” she said. “The crafters, music and boating community involvement makes this festival unlike any other on Long Island. We are pleased to partner with the Town of Huntington and several maritime-involved agencies to showcase all the wonderful aspects of loving the water and our waterfront community.”
A free 8-hour New York State safe boating course is available during the week at Town Hall.
See the flyer below for more details or see Huntingtonsafeboatingweek.com