CT Offers “Safe Boating Week” Activities

CT Boating Laws Under Scrutiny
Recreational boating, photo courtesy USCG.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP) is offering a boating activity and theme for each day this week (May 17-22) to inform the public about safe boating practices. For additional information on each subject, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 19: Pump-outs

It is illegal to discharge boat sewage into Connecticut waters.  Fines range from $75 – $25,000. Long Island and Fishers Island Sounds have been designated as No Discharge Areas by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nutrient overloading can harm animals living in the water. Too many nutrients can cause hypoxia, which is low levels of oxygen in the water.

Connecticut has 98 land based pump-out facilities for servicing installed holding tanks on recreational vessels and 21 dump stations for portable toilets.  This program is made possible by grant money provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service through a Clean Vessel Act grant. In 2014, over 995,000 gallons were kept out of LIS and over 1600 gallons out of Candlewood Lake.

Activity: See how a pump-out is performed by new solar-powered pump-out boats.

            When: 8am-2pm
Where: Brewers Pilot Point Marina, located at 63 Pilots Point Dr, Westbrook, CT.

Contact: Kate Brown, DEEP CVA Coordinator, 860-447-4340 or kate.brown@ct.gov

Wednesday, May 20: Boating Education

Residents of Connecticut, persons owning real property in Connecticut or persons with vessels registered in Connecticut must have either a safe boating certificate or a certificate of personal watercraft operation to legally operate any vessel with a motor, or a sailboat 19.5’ in length or longer.

These boating certificates can be obtained by successfully completing an approved 8 hour course followed by the purchase of the certificate online through the DEEP website or by successfully passing an equivalency exam scheduled through the DEEP Boating Division.

Activity: join us to view the educational displays that were created by the 2015 DEEP- Boating Division Student Ambassadors.

            When: 9am-1pm
Where: Legislative Office building corridor, Hartford, CT

Contacts: Jerry Desmond at 860-447-4350 or jerry.desmond@ct.gov

Thursday, May 21: Boating Under the Influence

Nationally, alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; listed as the leading   factor in 16% of fatalities from recreational boating accidents, according to USCG 2013 statistics. It is illegal in every state and territory to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. BUI laws pertain to all vessels, from canoes and rowboats to the largest ships.

Persons found to be boating under the influence can expect to incur penalties. If a boat operator is boating under the influence, the voyage may be terminated, the boat may be impounded and the operator may be arrested. Penalties in Connecticut include fines, jail, and loss of boating privileges. Connecticut had a total 4 BUI arrests in 2014.

Activity: DEEP Environmental Conservation officer will be available for interviews.

            Where: DEEP Marine Headquarters, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT
When: by appointment

Contact: Captain Ryan Healy at 860-447-4360

Friday, May 22: Towed Sports

Towed water sports are a 3-person sport in Connecticut, requiring a: driver, spotter, and skier/tuber. The driver must designate a person on board the vessel as an observer. This person must be at least 12 years of age. The observer shall assist the operator and monitor the progress of the water skier.

Vessel operators should pay attention to their surroundings at all times and look around them before making sharp turns.  Extreme caution should be used when approaching persons in the water. When retrieving water skiers from the water, the motor should be turned off prior to the water skier approaching and boarding the boat.

vity: Lakeside Watersports will be willing to give a demonstration on safety with towed water sports.

            Where: (Candlewood Lake) 16 Forty Acre Mountain Rd, Danbury, CT
When: by appointment

Contact: Chris Nuelle at 203-744-9884 or info@lakesidewatersports.com