Law enforcement surge aims to promote safe boating

NEW YORK-The Coast Guard along with multiple first-response agencies will begin their first summer weekend surge operation in an ongoing effort to educate the boating public and enforce recreational boating safety laws as part of the Hudson River Boating Surge Operation Friday, May 8, 2009.

The multi-agency task force consisting of more than 20 federal, state, county and local maritime agencies will inspect safety equipment and registration documents on board vessels, issue violations and terminate voyages as needed during the surge operations.

“Our goal this weekend and throughout the summer is to educate boaters throughout New York and New Jersey waterways to practice safe seamanship and observe the boating laws in an effort to reduce loss of life and property damage,” said Lt. j.g. Fredrick Pugh, Coast Guard Sector New York Hudson River law enforcement officer. “We are hoping to reduce the number of search and rescue missions required of our crews and our port partners through education.”

The surge operations will take place several weekends throughout the summer. Law enforcement personnel will be looking for proper registration documents and inspecting mandatory safety equipment, such as personal flotation devices (PFD), fire extinguishers and up-to-date flares. Boarding teams will be looking for life jackets that are in good condition and making sure that there is at least one for each person on board a vessel, including child-size PFDs on vessels with young passengers.

“We would like to ensure the public is not only armed with safety equipment, but also with the knowledge of what to do in a boating emergency,” said Pugh.

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