Suffolk family pushes propeller safety law after 2017 tragedy

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A Suffolk family is pushing lawmakers to pass a safety measure nearly one year after their son was killed in a propeller accident at the Centerport Yacht Club.

Last year, Ryan Weiss, 12, fell overboard and sustained fatal injuries when a propeller struck his chest during a sailing lesson.

“From that second, our life has never been the same again,” said Kelly Weiss, Ryan’s mother. “We can do something to prevent this from happening to any other person out there.”

The Weiss family is asking Suffolk lawmakers to pass Ryan's Law – a measure that would require propeller guards to be installed on all instructional boats for children under age 18.

Legislator William Spencer is the sponsor of the bill. He called the measure “common sense.”

The Legislature is expected to vote on the bill on June 19. If it passes, Ryan's Law would be the first of its kind in the country.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 171 boating accidents nationwide in 2016 in which at least one person was hit by a propeller. There were a total of 175 injuries and 24 deaths.

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