Officials urge safe boating as season heats up

Marine and aviation units will be patrolling the waters this Memorial Day weekend as the boating season gets underway.

Officers will be boarding boats and making safety checks. Their advice: boat safely and boat sober.

"Don't drink and operate a boat," says Nassau Police Marine Officer Joel Fuoco. "If you're bringing children on board a boat, make sure that your children are wearing approved personal flotation devices."

Gina Lieneck lost her daughter Brianna in August 2005 on the Great South Bay when a suspected drunken boater lost control and plowed into Lieneck's vessel. The boater who police say caused the crash was never charged. He refused a breathalyzer at the scene, and it took hours to get a court order to draw a blood sample. Lieneck now devotes her life to getting a law passed that would make breathalyzers mandatory for any boater in an accident.

"I can only hope when people are out boating to think of my little girl on all that she's missing out on," says Lieneck.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a total of nine new patrol boats have been assigned to state and local police agencies to assist with marine law enforcement across the state. On Long Island, the patrol vessels were assigned to Suffolk County, Town of Huntington Harbor Master and the Town of Southampton Bay Constable.

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