Saturday, October 31, 2009

NY Navigation Law

Wear It!

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation has announced that beginning Nov. 1, “No owner or operator of a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet, including rowboats, canoes, and kayaks shall permit its operation, between Nov. 1 and May 1, unless each person on board such vessel is wearing a securely fastened United States Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device of an appropriate size when such vessel is underway.”

This new regulation applies to all navigable waters in the state, as well as some downstate tidal areas. Failure to wear a lifejacket on such vessels will be considered a violation under Section 73-C of Navigation Law and is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250, applicable to either the operator and/or the owner of the vessel.

This new regulation will not impact most North Country power boaters since few operate their vessels between Nov. 1 and May 1, but it’s something you should know about anyway.

Also, most canoeists and kayakers wear PFDs anyway. For most vessels, other than those designated as “Public Vessels” (charter fishing boats etc.), type II or III PFDs are adequate and will fulfill these new requirements unless and until the U.S. Coast Guard promulgates different regulations, in which case the state will follow suit.

Type II and III PFDs are those most commonly sold in marine stores, department stores and other venues that offer boating supplies.

Thanks to ACA member Dale Jeffers for keeping everyone posted on these regulations.

For more information about issues pertinent to paddlers visit the Public Policy portion of the ACA website.

Paul Sanford - Director of Stewardship & Public Policy

Paul Sanford
Director of Stewardship & Public Policy

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