Log Bay Day is no more — officially. The Lake George Park Commission on Tuesday adopted a measure against the controversial annual tradition that led to a fatal boat crash last year.
The annual impromptu celebration known as Log Bay Day will not be held this year.
Days before the event typically held on the last Monday in July was to come around, the Lake George Park Commission took a step Tuesday to halt the tradition marked by excessive drinking and raucous behavior in the shallow bay across the lake from Bolton Landing.
LGPC Executive Director Dave Wick…
“So what the resolution does is it authorizes our marine patrol to close down both Shelving Rock bay and Log Bay for the day,” said Wick. “And that’s of course in concert with all the law enforcement agencies around the region.”
That includes the Park Commission, New York State Police, Warren and Washington County Sheriff’s offices, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police.
Wick said enforcement was stepped up last year, with almost 60 law enforcement officers on duty both on and off the lake.
“But even with all of that presence last year we will still had the two tragedies that happened, so time has come to call and end to the event and not let it happen anymore,” said Wick.
Last year, a boat piloted by Alexander West collided with a vessel carrying 8-year-old Charlotte McCue and her family, vacationing from California. McCue was killed and her mother was seriously injured. Police said West had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. He was convicted at trial and is serving time for charges including manslaughter.
A man was also left paralyzed after jumping off a boat into the shallow water. More than two dozen arrests and numerous injuries were reported.
Calls to end the celebration started soon after last year’s events. Warren County Sheriff Bud York was among the first to call for action, as heard last July on NewsChannel 13.
“If Log Bay Day played any part in this little girl getting killed, absolutely, we need to end it,” said York.
Other steps have also been taken to promote boater safety.
In May the LGPC unveiled a safety campaign targeted toward rental boaters, including a video that is being shown to renters at marinas around the 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.
Wick says the program has been successful.
“What we’ve put together working with the marinas seems to make sense and we’ve had very good feedback from that as well, both from the marinas and the people on the lake,” said Wick.
The sheriffs of Albany and Saratoga Counties appeared together at the Albany waterfront earlier this month to announce the #OperationSoberBoater campaign.
While the campaign is primarily directed at curbing alcohol consumption, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple added that he also wants boaters to be aware of their use of social media and cell phones onboard, which he warned can be just as dangerous as driving a car while operating a phone.
“Again, we want you to have fun but do it safely,” said Apple. “And doing 65 miles per hour with one hand on a wheel and one hand on a phone is not a safe way to do it.”