Annual Summer Boater's Safety Press Conference Held During National Boater Safety Week & Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend in Sylvan Beach

Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., members of the Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Unit, Commander John Conroy of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, NYS Police Lieutenant Fran LaBarbera, Sylvan Beach Mayor Richard Sullivan & Village Officials, Lieutenant Colin Isom & Engineer Patrick St. Thomas of the Sylvan Beach Fire Department, and Sara Calero from Oneida County Tourism held a press conference this morning during National Boater Safety Week and just ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend to address boater safety, traffic safety, beach safety & local law issues, along with summer events. The press conference was held at the emergency wall on the canal adjacent to the Route 13 bridge.

Sheriff Maciol spoke about various boater safety issues including the importance of wearing life jackets, the zero tolerance position they take on those who operate boats while intoxicated, and the requirements regarding those who are mandated to take boater safety courses.

“In 2020 nationwide, 75% of boating accident deaths were drownings and 7 out of every 8 drowning victims were not wearing life jackets, so it is clear that personal flotation devices clearly work and they clearly save lives”, according to Sheriff Maciol.

“As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, a time when many Oneida County residents and visitors take to our waterways, we want to remind everyone to be safe and use caution when boating,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “We have a lot to look forward to this summer, and we can avoid unnecessary tragedy by wearing life jackets at all times, taking boater safety courses and never, ever operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As always, our County Sheriff’s Office will be patrolling and making sure that the law is followed and waterways are safe for all.”

New York State Police Lt. LaBarbera talked about the increased summer patrols that will be out keeping our roadways safe, with emphasis on DWI enforcement.

Sylvan Beach Mayor Richard Sullivan spoke about several upcoming fun, family events planned in Sylvan Beach over the next several weeks and Sylvan Beach Fire Department Lt. Isom & Coast Guard Commander Conroy spoke about additional boater safety issues and stressed the importance of knowing the waterway and the weather forecast before you head out on the lake.

In New York State:

A. As of January 1, 2020, everyone operating a motorized vessel will need a NYS Boater’s Safety certificate by 2025. This is a requirement of the new legislation known as “Brianna’s Law:

1. If you were born on or after January 1, 1993, you needed the certificate by the first time

you operated a vessel in 2020.

2. If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you will need the certificate by the first time

you operate a vessel in 2022.

3. If you were born on or after January 1, 1983, you will need a certificate by the first time

you operate a vessel in 2023.

4. If you were born on or after January 1, 1978, you will need a certificate by the first time

you operate a vessel in 2024.

5. If you were born before 1978, you will need a certificate by the first time you operate a

vessel in 2025.

In order to make these classes as convenient as possible for residents, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office has held them in various locations throughout Oneida County with this season’s last two being held on June 3rd at the Lake Delta Yacht Club and June 24th at the Forestport Town Hall.

All classes begin promptly at 9:00 A.M. and because it is an 8 hour class, it is recommended that everyone bring snacks, drinks, and/or a lunch. This class is limited to 30 students and additional classes will be offered at a later date if the need arises.

To sign up for these free, eight hour classes, just follow this link at . Once there, find a class in your area by entering your location. When you find a class you are interested in, click the “View Event” tab and the class information page will open. Verify that this is the class you are interested in and then click the “Register Now” tab and follow the instructions to register.

If you have any questions regarding the boater’s safety courses, please call the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office at 315-765-2222 and speak with Jennifer Gudnaya.

To find additional class dates and locations, you can also visit the NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation’s web site or call 1-800-336-2628 to get information on the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary & U.S. Power Squadron Boater Safety Course dates and locations.