Town will again implement speed restrictions before and after fireworks shows
The Town of Huntington has released a new video highlighting the danger of boat wakes, underscoring the need to practice safe boating during the weekend leading up to the July 4 holiday.
The four-minute video, narrated by Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards, was produced in cooperation with the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs and features a demonstration of the effects of a boat’s wake at different speeds on kayakers, shore erosion, wildlife and other boats.
“For many of us, being on a boat is the highlight of the summer. Let’s do all we can to make sure that boating is enjoyable for all of us,” Councilwoman Edwards says at the conclusion of the video, which can be viewed on the Town’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1njzVS0NCE
“Throughout the year, the Town works with the Greater Huntington Council on educational programs and other measures to keep our waters safe,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “As July 4 approaches, we again ask all residents to follow the rules and celebrate the holiday in a way that is safe to themselves, their families and guests and respects the rights of others.”
As in past years, a particular concern has been boat traffic before after July 4 fireworks shows. The Town is aware of two scheduled shows — the annual one sponsored by Asharoken Village, and the one presented by the Dolan family off Cove Neck.
The Town has again been working with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Suffolk County police department marine bureau, the incorporated villages and the Huntington, Northport, Centerport and Cold Spring Harbor Fire Departments on measures aimed at allowing people to safely get to and get home from where they watch fireworks shows. These measures include coordinating patrols, including establishing a security zone around the barge shooting the Asharoken fireworks. As has been done in the past, law enforcement boats will be strategically located throughout the area the help ensure an orderly dispersal.
The Town is again establishing a 5 MPH speed limit from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in all of Northport Bay and Huntington Bay south from the line extending from Target Rock to Buoy One in Coast Guard Cove, as well as Long Island Sound from the easternmost section of the Northport Power Plant to the westernmost end of the causeway on Asharoken Avenue. A copy of a map showing the affected areas can be viewed on the Town’s website at www.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13749/16439/July_4th_Huntington_Bay_Special_Zones_Map_2016.pdf
Additionally, while some Town facilities– Crab Meadow, West Neck/Quentin Sammis and Hobart Beaches and the Soundview Boat Ramp – will remain open past sunset, after 5 p.m., entry will be limited to Town residents, on a space available basis. Once the parking lot at a particular location beach is full, no additional entry will be allowed and there is the possibility that police will restrict access on roads leading to the facilities.
This is the fifth year the Town has imposed the restrictions on July 4, 2017 spurred by a 2012 tragedy in which three children died off Oyster Bay Cove when the boat in which they were watching a fireworks show capsized as it was returning to Huntington. The Town has also worked with the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs to step up boater safety education and to encourage responsible boating.
This year, during boating safety week, May 20-27, 2017 the Town offered a safe boating class, and over 100 participants received New York State boating safety certificates. Safe Boating Week also included a nautical festival; $10,000 in proceeds from this year’s festival will go toward the purchase of additional LED buoy lights for placement in the harbors and for kayak safety outreach.