Editor’s note 10/03/16: This article has been edited to reflect the Eastern NY Marine Trades Association as the correct name of the organization.
The Lake George Park Commission thinks two high profile boat crashes on Lake George this past summer is a few too many.
Starting next summer, if you’re renting a boat on Lake George you’ll be required to receive basic safety training from the marinas – here’s what this initiative entails, and why the training is so important.
Safety Training from Marinas
The training will be provided by the marinas and will entail the following:
- A short training video
- Informational cards on each rental boat
- Hands-on boat handling skills prior to departure
“All marinas on Lake George who rent boats currently have some level of training program for their renters,” Roger Phinney, Director of Eastern NY Marine Trades Association, told the Daily Gazette. “What this effort does is to make it consistent and comprehensive so that we are all on the same page.”
The training will not cost anything to the 20 private marinas on the lake, and the response has been mostly positive. State Assemblyman Dan Stec told The Post Star that meetings were productive and it was encouraging to see “no resistance at all” to improve upon the current training for boat renters.
The training video is expected to cost about $3,000; the cost is being picked up by the S.A.V.E Lake George Partnership, a group that consists of various organizations around the lake. The instruction cards are going to cost between $1,500 and $2,000 and will be covered by the Lake George Association, which represents businesses and property owners around the lake.
One issue that will need to be addressed is that Lake George draws in a wide range of visitors, some of whom don’t speak English; training materials in several languages will be required.
Why We Need Safety Training
The new requirement comes about after numerous accidents on Lake George triggered a series of meetings involving park commission officials, the marinas, and Warren County legislators.
The two primary boating accidents over the summer both involved rental boats. According to Stec, studies have indicated that rental boats have a significantly higher rate of accidents than privately owned ones.
Of course, the fatal boating accident that happened after Log Bay Day also contributed to the discussion about boating safety on the lake, although neither of the boats involved in that incident were rentals. Additionally, there was a man who drowned while swimming off a rental boat, and another man accused of using a rental boat to drive to island campsites and steal valuables.
Lake George is considered to be the Queen of American Lakes, and is one of the most popular recreational lakes in the entire Northeast. With so much traffic from boaters – and others who use the lake for additional recreational activities – the improvement and consistency of the boat training will hopefully have a strong and positive impact on the lake.