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Lawmakers Urge NY Governor To Sign Boat Safety Bill

WAMC/Allison Dunne

New York state lawmakers, local leaders, and family members gathered at a boat club along the Hudson River Wednesday. They were there to urge the governor to sign boating safety legislation, and to honor the memory of a local resident who died in a boating accident.

It was one year ago that 26-year-old Bryan Johnson, of Ossining in Westchester County, drowned in the Long Island Sound off City Island in the Bronx. Family members have said they were told that he was swimming when the boat’s operator, a high school friend of his, drove off as a prank, and did not return in time. Here’s Johnson’s mother, Sheila Lilley.

The state Senate and Assembly passed the bill last week, the latter on Friday, the last day of session.

David Carlucci, an Independent Democrat, introduced the bill in the Senate.

Democrat Sandy Galef introduced the bill in the Assembly.

Democratic Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, himself a boater, also worked on the legislation.

Carlucci talks about the age requirements in the bill.

Carlucci notes that a number of states, including Connecticut and New Jersey, have similar legislation.

Catherine Borgia, a Democratic Westchester County legislator whose district includes Ossining, says she knew Bryan Johnson.

Here’s Johnson’s grandmother Thomasina Laidley-Brown.

To honor the memory of Bryan Johnson, town officials unanimously passed a resolution to rename the Ossining boat ramp the Bryan J. Johnson Memorial boat ramp. Here’s Ossining Town Supervisor Sue Donnelly.

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