Around the Island

Safety first — boating course set for January

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Bay Constable Perer Vielbig, teaching a boating safety course on Shelter Island, demonstrating to students how a right of way works on the water.

The Peconic Bay Power Squadron is offering a five-session New York State Safe Boating Course at Mattituck-Laurel Library beginning Saturday, January 12, at 10 a.m. and continuing on Saturdays through February 9. The eight-hour course is designed for boaters between the ages of 10 and 17 who plan to operate a craft alone in New York State waters. The course also qualifies those 14 and older to operate personal watercraft such as jet skis.

As of October 11, Suffolk County requires all boat operators to complete an approved boating safety course and New York State has required certification for those with personal watercraft since 2004. The personal watercraft certification used to be offered as a separate course, but is now included in the state’s Safe Boating Course.

While the course is aimed at younger boaters, older residents may attend, making it possible for families to learn good boating practices together, according to Glen Sherman, the squadron’s public relations officer.

The fee for the course is $10, payable to PBPS and there will be a separate New York State certificate fee. To register, call the library at 631-298-413 or visit