Senator Flanagan Joins Power Squadron To Enhance Local Boating Safety Courses

John J. Flanagan

July 11, 2007

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District), who has been heavily involved in the fight to increase the safety of boaters, joined with the Old Field Point Power Squadron to unveil new equipment the organization will use to promote safety on the Long Island waterways. Senator Flanagan was able to obtain $3,000 in state grant funding for the new equipment that will be used during the organization’s public boating safety courses.

The Old Field Point Power Squadron has already used the funding secured by Senator Flanagan to offset the cost of two laptops, two InFocus projectors, a projector screen, protective cases and assorted materials. This equipment will allow the presenters to highlight important points that are essential to students and allow the organization to provide more boating safety courses throughout the area.

"Old Field Point Power Squadron, a member of the United States Power Squadrons, greatly appreciates Senator Flanagan's assistance and support in securing this grant. The educational equipment purchased will allow us to more effectively educate the general public in matters of safe boating, and in so doing, our local waters will become a more safe and enjoyable environment," said Charlotte Duff, Junior Past Commander, Old Field Point Power Squadron.

The boating safety courses are offered free of charge by the Power Squadron. The only expense to the public is the purchase of materials required to complete their training.

The Power Squadron, according to the national web site, believes that an educated boater is a safe boater and their courses are designed to enhance the boating experience. USPS instructors who teach public courses are certified regarding their ability to teach and use modern instructional methods through any one of their many educational opportunities including courses, seminars and marine-related guides.

This funding continues Senator Flanagan’s ongoing efforts to increase the safety of Long Island waterways. Over the past several years, he has successfully fought to enhance boating while intoxicated penalties that govern operation of boats. In 2003, he was successful in lowering the New York State's BWI blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold from .10 to .08 and last August, a new law he sponsored that increased penalties for boating while intoxicated to the same level as those faced by drunk drivers went into effect.

This year, he sponsored legislation that passed the Senate that will require all prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated to be considered during sentencing of a subsequent Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) conviction. This change will allow previous convictions of driving while intoxicated or alcohol related driving offenses involving other vehicles to impact subsequent sentencing.

"Promoting safety on the waters of Long Island involves a combination of enacting tougher laws, increasing enforcement and raising public awareness. The Old Field Point Power Squadron has been a great advocate in fighting to increase the safety of our boaters and these new resources will greatly assist their efforts in the future," stated Senator Flanagan.

Residents who would like more information about the Power Squadron, should visit for more information about upcoming classes. By phone, residents can contact the Old Field Point Power Squadron for more information by calling 631-473-0343.