Warmer weather increases ice danger, Massena Flotilla warns
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 8:06 am

MASSENA -- The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla of Massena is reminding local residents to remember boating safety as warmer weather approaches.

Most accidents are preventable by taking proper safety precautions, particularly wearing a life jacket. State law requires personal flotation devices for certain vehicles. The New York State Boater’s Guide contains a complete list and additional information about safety requirements.

The legal age to operate a boat unsupervised is 18, unless the operator has completed a safe boating course and is between the ages of 10 and 18.

In addition, anyone operating a personal watercraft must complete an approved boating safety course or be accompanied someone over the age of 18 who has completed the course. The safety course certificate must be carried at all times while operating the vehicle. The minimum age for unsupervised operation of a personal watercraft in New York is 14.

Hypothermia can be dangerous to boaters, particularly at the beginning of the boating season. Boaters should dress appropriately for the water temperature, not just the air temperature.

It is also illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.