As part of the Governor’s “New York State on Pause” Covid-19 safety orders, the state had temporarily shut down marinas. But a new executive order issued by the governor over the weekend provides local governments with the ability to re-open them.
On Monday, at the Curtis E. Fisher West Marina in Point Lookout, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, joined by Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Councilman Chris Carini, announced the reopening of the town’s marinas, and unveiled a set of safety protocols during the Covid-19 pandemic. The rules include important information about social distancing at the marinas.
“Opening our marinas is an important opportunity not only to provide recreational opportunities for our residents but to inject some energy into the economy that is based here on our bays and waterways during the height of boating season,” Clavin said. “However, in order to keep our marinas open and most importantly protect the health of residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, we must enact and enforce a series of safety measures.”
Signs with updated safety information and rules will be on display at all Hempstead Town marinas. In addition, the town will also distribute safety brochures for those who use the marinas and publish the information on the town website.
“Marinas are vital to the Town of Hempstead, especially for our communities along the water,” D’Esposito said. “Please follow these important safety guidelines to ensure the safety of others and that we can keep our marinas open.”
“We wish boaters a safe and healthy season during the Covid-19 pandemic, and ask that everyone follows the town’s safety rules,” Carini said.
The new safety protocols at town marinas include:
•Try to stay close to shore.
•Keep in mind that many rescue services are low on personnel.
•Stay close to home in case an emergency arises.
•When using our boat ramps, wait in your vehicle until the person using the ramp has completed using it before you do.
•When fueling, wait for the vessel to finish before entering the fuel dock.
•Stay clear of tie-ups or mooring congregations.
•Boat operators also must continue to follow vessel distancing.
•Keep a safe distance of at least 50 feet from other vessels.
•Understand occupancy requirements along with social distancing. If possible, limit the people aboard to family members you live with and housemates. Keep 6 feet away at all times.
•It’s a good time to check the required safety equipment. Make sure everything is to U.S. Coast Guard regulation and is not expired.
•Take an New York State Boaters Safety Course online. Brianna’s Law took effect on Jan. 1. This is a phase-in-regulation that will require all operators to complete the course and receive a certificate in order to operate a vessel.
•The waterways are still cold. Make sure to wear life jackets at all times.
The marina is open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed:
•Completely clean and sanitize your boat and touchpoints before boarding guests, during and after each use.
•Clean your hands often and keep them away from your face.
•Follow all traditional safe boating and Coast Guard rules and harbormaster guidance.
•Wear masks or face coverings.
•Maintain social distance.
Residents are advised to report violations of these boater and marina safety guidelines or any other safety concerns to the Town of Hempstead Bay Constables at (516) 801-5608 or 801-5609.
“We understand that our boating, kayaking and canoeing community is becoming more active with the beautiful weather. It’s a way to get out and enjoy the fresh air,” Clavin said, “but there are safe ways in doing so.”