Sheriff encourages safe boating as season begins

May 22, 2014

Memorial Day weekend is approaching and with it the unofficial start of the boating season. Local law enforcement officials are encouraging boaters to be safe on the water

Before heading to open water, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard is reminding boaters to use the "3 Cs": common sense, courtesy and caution.

Sheriff Tim Howard and Sgt. Rick Lauricella shared some tips Thursday on safe boating.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Howard, speaking Thursday morning in a news conference at the Erie Basin Marina, says the Sheriff's Marine Unit will be on patrol seven days a week to assist area boaters. He says they will also be on the lookout for intoxicated watercraft operators.

"Have a good season, be safe, be courteous, and it will be more pleasant for everyone else," Howard said.

Marine Seargant Rick Lauricella says a new state law took that effect this month requires all boaters ages 18 and under to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate by completing an eight-hour course.  

"There's a lot of other things that go along with that law," Lauricella said. "The state is getting very tough with education, and we encourage education on the water."

Lauricella urges boaters to visit the New York State Parks and Recreation website to learn more about the new regulations.

In addition to the Marina, Buffalo is home to the publicly-owned Boat Harbor, the largest marina in New York state and one of the largest on the Great Lakes.  There are 100 miles of shoreline in Erie County alone.