Huntington officials are urging residents to take steps to be safe during the Fourth of July holiday, announcing a temporary speed limit on Huntington waters for the holiday.
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci said Monday that because of the holiday, as many as 800 to 1,000 boats could take to the waters in Huntington.
Officials also announced plans to increase enforcement against intoxicated or careless boaters and an arrangement between the town and Neptune Sail & Power Squadron to offer advanced boating safety classes.
“The Town implements these temporary speed zones due to the overwhelming number of boats in Huntington’s waters – from 800 to 1,000 boats – for the Fourth of July celebration and the danger that a wake from a speeding boat creates, potentially destabilizing a smaller or overcrowded boat,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “Sadly, this exact scenario tragically played out in 2012. Seven years ago, Lisa Gaines lost her daughter, Victoria, who was just days shy of her 8th birthday, when the boat they were on capsized in Oyster Bay after a Fourth of July fireworks display.”
Harbormaster Fred Uvena urged people headed to the water to be smart, “Watch the skies for squalls and other bad weather and know the basic rules” of water safety. Uvena noted that with the sudden arrival of Sunday’s storm, many sailboat operators were unable to drop their sails in time to avoid the wind, 12 boats ran aground, one woman suffered a broken arm and a paddleboater was overturned and had to cling to a mooring to be rescued. He said boaters are responsible for their own wake, and urged them to be careful with how much they drink.
“Boating while drinking is just as serious as DWI,” Lupinacci said.
From 8:30 PM to 11 PM on July 4, the Town will be enforcing a temporary 5 mile-per-hour boating speed limit in the zones indicated on the map. The map also lists eight boating emergency pickup locations:
- Powles Dock
- Lloyd Neck Bath Club
- Huntington Town Dock
- Huntington Bay Club
- Huntington Beach Community Association Dock
- Northport Yacht Club
- Soundview Boat Ramp
- Eaton’s Neck Coast Guard Station