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New Safety Campaign Announced For Lake George Boaters

Lucas Willard

The Lake George Park Commission has released new materials aimed at making the lake a safer place for boaters and visitors this summer.

Following several accidents involving rental boats during the summer of 2016, as well as the crash that killed an 8-year-old girl, state Senator Betty Little last fall consulted with the Lake George community to develop new safety measures for boaters.

The Lake George Park Commissionrecently unveiled its new guidelines. Here’s Executive Director Dave Wick…

“One of the first ideas that came out was to create a video that would be kind of required watching for folks that really don’t have any experience on the water before they rent a boat out on Lake George,” said Wick.

Now, a six-minute video called “Boating Safely on Lake George” is on the web and is recommended for any boater heading out on the 32-mile lake.

“Hello, and welcome to Lake George. We hope your stay in the Lake George region is enjoyable and safe. To that end, we’d like to go over some of the things we’d like you to know before boating on the lake,” says the introduction to the video.

The video, which covers topics like safe navigation and the dangers of drinking and boating, was modeled after one used by Yankee Marina in Lake George.

The Lake George Association also assisted with the video and other materials, says LGA Executive Director Walt Lender.

“Lake George has some additional rules that not all the other lakes and all the other water bodies have: certain speed limits and certain navigational rules. So we wanted to summarize those for people so they’d have them right there in their boat,” said Lender.

LGA worked with the Commission to produce laminated information cards for every rental boat on Lake George. Also produced: a standardized safety checklist for marinas as well as stickers for boaters that display navigation rules.

On-site training sessions with seasonal dock hands will be held at all marinas providing boat rentals. There are 28 marinas on the lake and more than 500 rental boats. LGPC Marine Patrol says that the number of incidents involving rental boats is close to the number of incidents involving privately owned vessels, despite private boats greatly outnumbering rentals.

The Lake George Park Commission has also begun the fifth season of its boat inspection program to keep invasive plant and animal species from entering the water.

There are currently seven boat inspection stations around the lake where checks are performed to make sure boats are cleaned, drained, and dry.

Dave Wick says last year the program performed around 30,000 inspections in a timely manner.

“We are still doing extremely well on processing boats in generally under five or seven minutes for a full inspection. If it requires a decontamination, maybe one out of every seven or eight boats needs to be cleaned off a little bit, that only takes about another seven or 10 minutes. So the program is almost like it’s been in place for many, many years,” said Wick.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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