Staying safe on the water

Before you put the boats in the water this summer, there are a few things to check off the list.

The New York State Navigation Law has been updated for the new generation of boaters; effective May 1 anyone 10 to 18 years of age (born on or after May 1, 1996) needs to take a boat safety course.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said these tests are the same tests people have been taking for decades, but those who are of age to take them need to make sure they do that before going out on the water this summer.

“Recreational boating is a fun family activity and a great way to explore New York’s outdoors. With summer fast approaching, I encourage boaters to make sure their young friends and family members can join in on the fun by staying up to date with new boater education requirements,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “Whether they plan to go boating this summer or sometime in the future, anyone born on or after May 1, 1996 now needs to obtain a Boating Safety Certificate to operate a power boat in New York.”

For New Yorkers who have earned a Boating Safety Certificate, keeping track of it is even easier thanks to New York’s new Adventure License. New Yorkers who have taken an approved safe boating course and received a Boating Safety Certificate, with just a few easy steps, can have the certification reflected as an anchor icon on their New York State Drivers License, Non-Driver ID or Learner Permit. The personalized Adventure License eliminates the need to carry a separate certificate. For more information on the other benefits of getting an Adventure License, visit

There are some safe boating classes being offered locally.

All classes are held at the Chautauqua Marina located at 104 West Lake Road, Mayville, NY. Course fees are $45 with a $5 materials fee. For pre-registration call 716- 753- 3913 or 716- 753- 0409.

July 19- 20, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (two day class)

August 3, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (one day class)

Instructors are Gaynell Anderson, Deborah Clementi, and Tiffany Clementi.

Other boating requirements:

New York State Navigation laws state that everyone under 12 years of age must wear a personal flotation device while onboard a boat underway, and that a PFD be available for every individual on board.

Persons 14 years of age and older who wish to operate a Personal Watercraft (solo) must take an 8-hour classroom-based New York State approved safe boating safety course and successfully complete the proctored exam before they can operate a personal watercraft or a PWC on any waters of New York.

If you do not have a safe boating certificate, but you are on the PWC with a person 18 years of age or older and they have a safe boating certificate, you may operate the PWC if they are on the PWC with you.

All solo PWC operators must be a minimum of 14 years old and hold a safe boating certificate. No one under the age of 14 may operate a PWC solo … under any circumstances without a person ages 18 or older. That person must hold a New York State Approved Safe Boating Certificate.

Check your local Department of Motor Vehicles for registration information at