Deer Park mom fights to change boating law after daughter's death
A Deer Park mom is on a mission to change New York's boating law following the 2005 death of her daughter.
It has been 13 years since Brianna Lieneck, 11, was killed in a boat collision at the Bay Shore Marina.
In New Jersey and Connecticut, all boaters have to undergo in-classroom certification before they can operate a boat. In New York, only people born in 1996 or after have to go through a course and it can be taken online. Gina Lieneck, Brianna's mother, wants mandatory in-class safety courses for all New York boaters.
"I made a promise to Brianna that one day, even if it takes to the day that I die, I will get these laws to change," says Gina Lieneck.
The bill faces opposition by a group that represents those in the boating industry. They argue boat fatality rates in New York are nearly the same as those in New Jersey and Connecticut, where in-class certification is required.
Bay Shore Republican Sen. Phil Boyle, who's sponsoring the bill in the Senate, says requiring classroom certifications is common sense.
"There's nothing that compares to in-person training," says Boyle. "A lot of people take online courses and tests, and it's not the same. There's always a way around online tests."
Gina Lieneck has been heading to Albany twice a week for the past several months to plead her case with state lawmakers. The legislative session ends next month.
"If you tell me you don't want somebody sitting through an eight-hour class because it's silly, walk in our shoes for five minutes," says Gina Lieneck.
Click HERE for an extended interview with Gina Lieneck.