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LI, NJ Lawmakers Crack Down On Unsafe Boating

A boat that capsized, killing three children, is seen being lifted from the Long Island Sound on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)

A boat that capsized, killing three children, is seen being lifted from the Long Island Sound on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (credit: CBS 2)


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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Boaters beware.

New efforts to target unsafe boating were unveiled Thursday on Long Island ahead of the holiday weekend.

The Coast Guard joined Suffolk County officials and Islip Harbor Police to discuss the renewed efforts at a morning news conference.

Officials Announce Crackdown On Unsafe Boating

Mona Rivera reports

“Don’t put other people’s lives in danger while you’re having a good time,” Gina Liniek told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

Lieniek’s 11-year-old daughter Brianna died in 2005 when a boater, accused of being drunk and speeding, crashed into their boat, Rivera reported.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving also participated in the announcement. About 20 percent of boating fatalities involve the use of alcohol, according to the Coast Guard.

Boaters are urged to avoid boating while intoxicated.

“You will be arrested, you will be processed, and you will go to jail,” said Islip Harbor Patrol Chief Alan Loeffler said.

Meanwhile, New Jersey increased its penalties on boaters who leave the scene of an accident.

Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation Thursday that makes the crime similar to leaving the scene of a car crash.

Under the new rules, it is now a second-degree crime to knowingly leave the scene of an accident that results in death and a third-degree crime if it results in serious injury. Both will be punishable with steep fines and prison time.

The bill-signing took place on the waterfront in Point Pleasant, about five minutes from the site of a 2008 boating accident that killed 49-year-old Robert Post in 2008.

Post’s wife said she was thrilled to finally see the law on the books.

July is the busiest period for boating accidents, according to the Coast Guard.

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