What to know for Memorial Day, summer
Two men clung to a pool float in the Hudson River Sunday night in Poughkeepsie as the Roosevelt Fire District Marine Unit approached.
Moments earlier, one of the adults was in a kayak pulling the other into the pool float when the kayak overturned around 8:10 p.m. north of Esopus Island off Norrie Point, said Fire Chief Lew Darrow.
“The rough waters and the conditions of the river made it a difficult rescue,” said Darrow.
The victims were transported to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie with non-fatal injuries.
About six hours earlier, a different water rescue took place in the Long Island Strait.
A man from New Rochelle was in distress while kayaking in a rocky area outside the channel near David’s Island, New Rochelle Police Captain Cosmo Costa said.
“The kayaker had indicated that he was being swept away by strong winds and currents further into Long Island Strait,” Costa said.
The man was rescued by the department’s Marine 1 boat. He refused medical treatment and was taken to the ground.
The two maritime unit rescues took place on the second day of National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 22-28. Boaters are urged to take the time this week to ensure they have the right equipment before setting out on the water.
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the boating season, with hundreds expected to get in the water. Sunday’s rescues served as a reminder of the importance of being safe.
The Hudson River Rescue was Roosevelt’s first fire department since he bought a boat Mississippi in February 2020 for $ 60,000.
Jeff Scala, Deputy Fire Chief, was on board the boat during the rescue. He said marine unit firefighters spent 1,449 hours training for this scenario in 2020 and it had paid off.
“The water was very rough,” Scala said. “A strong current and an opposite wind, certainly not ideal conditions … It was difficult to try to stabilize the boat next to them and to embark them without hitting them.”
The first man grabbed the bowl on the deck, the boat circled, then the crew threw a rope on the second man and pulled him.
“They were in the water for 20 to 30 minutes before they were spotted,” Scala said. “The fact that we were right there in Norrie (Point Marina) certainly increased the positive result. As we pulled the second man on board, we could see the Kingston Marine approaching the Esopus Lighthouse.”
Until Friday, maritime patrol assistants from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office are visiting marinas and yacht clubs along the Hudson River to educate boaters about life jackets.
According to the US Coast Guard, four in five boating deaths in 2019 were drownings. Of those who drowned, 86% were not wearing a life jacket.
What do you need?
State law requires that life jackets be worn by children 12 years of age and under, and those operating or being towed by a personal watercraft.
Pleasure craft must have one suitable life jacket per person on board, visual distress signals such as flares, searchlights, anchor, fire extinguisher, horn, backfire flame arrestor, ventilation, pollution regulations, marine sanitation devices and navigation rules, to the Coast Guard.
In an emergency, call the Coast Guard on Channel 16 using the recommended Very High Frequency Marine Radio, call 911, or use visual distress signals.
Tips for social distancing
The state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation recommends that all boaters continue to distance themselves socially. Here are a few tips:
- Wear a life jacket and dress for the weather
- Sail near you and avoid high traffic destinations
- Avoid rafting and breaking boats together. Boat with those of your immediate household
- Wear a face mask in public areas and dispose of masks and gloves in designated waste areas
- If you’re not feeling well stay home
What are the rules?
Whether you are in a motorized or non-motorized boat, kayak, canoe, paddle board or other water craft, you should be aware of the surroundings at all times, know the traffic lanes near very waterways. frequented, see or be seen and to know what the channels or buoy markers mean in terms of restrictions.
According to the BoatUS Foundation, speed limits are regulated by law for certain regions and conditions. If there is no posted speed limit, a boat must follow a safe speed that will not endanger others. White buoys or signs with red or orange markings indicate posted speed limits or no wake zones.
Slow wake-free speed occurs when a boat or personal watercraft maintains a speed that produces small waves or no waves when moving through the water.
The speed limit is 5 mph within 100 feet of the shore, dock, float, raft or anchored boat or dock. Otherwise, there may be a daytime speed of 45 mph and a night speed of 25 mph, according to the BoatUS Foundation.
Federal and state laws require that any pleasure craft, whether mechanically, fully, or partially propelled, must be registered with the State Department of Motor Vehicles to operate on state waterways.
The exemption from this rule is for commercial vessels operated with U.S. or foreign documentation, vessels registered in another state, lifeboats, competition racing boats, and boats that are not mechanically propelled.
Kayaks, rowing boats and canoes do not need to be registered.
For those who wish to take a free online boating safety course, BoatUS Foundation offers one that is recognized by the US Coast Guard. There is also a free online paddle safety course at BOATER Exam.
Ryan Santistevan is the breaking reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal, Journal News and Times Herald-Record. Contact her at [email protected]; 845-437-4809 or follow her on Twitter, @NewsByRyan_.