Boating Safety


NY Safe Boater’s Course: Online course is now also available.  For the study guide or for more information, go to https://www.boat-ed.com/newyork/

Special appeal: Sheriff Boat Patrols focusing on lake safety have been reinstated on Sacandaga, Caroga and Canada Lakes this summer after a long absence.  While there is not currently Fulton County funding for these efforts, Sheriff Giardino has received a $10,000 donation from the Stewarts Foundation and $2000 from the Sacandaga Association to initiate patrols, most of which will be on Sacandaga Reservoir.  We will probably have four patrols on Canada Lake this summer, but could have more with private donations.  Should you want to contribute, checks can be sent to either the Fulton County Sheriff's Association, P.O. Box 20, Johnstown, NY 12095 (a tax exempt non profit), or to the Fulton County NY Public Safety Foundation, P.O. Box 99, Mayfield, NY 12117 (also a tax exempt non profit).  In the check memo indicate "boat patrol" or "general donation".                      

OBJECTIVES AND GUIDELINES FOR COURTEOUS AND SAFE BOATING

OBJECTIVE: To create an environment of safe and courteous use of the lake that will ensure maximum enjoyment of the lake for all, boaters and non boaters. All persons using the lake are asked to be respectful of the rights of others and adhere to common sense rules of courtesy when on or near the lake.

GUIDELINES:

(Consult the pdf version of the New York Boaters Guide)

• Watercraft should not be operated in a reckless or negligent manner or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

• NY State law prohibits speeds in excess of 5 mph within 100 feet of swimming and docking areas and within 100 feet of any shoreline.

• Swim floats and moorings must be kept within 50 feet of shore.

• Motorized boat users are responsible for any damage caused by their wake  either to shoreline or other boaters.

• Engines on all crafts must be reasonably muffled.

• Clearance between watercraft, people, docks and moorings should be maintained at a minimum of 100 feet or more.

• Non motorized boats have the right of way at all times, but all boaters should be aware of other boats and the paths they may take; always try to avoid an unsafe condition.

• From sunset until sunrise watercraft must use running lights, lanterns or flashlights.

• "Cover boats" should accompany all persons swimming more than 100 feet from shore.

• Scuba divers should dive only with a partner and marker buoy.

• Rules of etiquette for slalom course usage as practiced by the USA Water Ski Association require that skiers approaching a slalom course wait outside the course, at minimum wake, until those using the course have indicated that they are leaving the course.

• Boats and trailers used in other lakes shall be thoroughly cleaned (propellers, bottoms, bait wells, etc.) before launching into the lake to avoid transference of harmful plants and marine life into the lake.

• Never release plants, fish or animals into the lake unless they came out of that lake.

• Do not feed ducks. Ducks cause swimmers itch.

• NY State law requires that life jackets must be on board for each occupant of any watercraft regardless of age of occupant and that children under age 12 must wear a life jacket when on board.

• A throwable life preserving device must be present in the boat.

• NY State Law requires that a boat towing a water skier, surfboard, tube or any device must have a spotter at least age 10 aboard in addition to the driver.

• Boats towing a water skier, surfboard, tube or any device should be done only durning daylight hours.

• Boat drivers between age 10 and 18 are required by law to have completed a boating safety course and obtained a State Certificate to operate a power boat without adult supervision. (Boating Safety Course).

• All PWC (jet ski) operators must have completed a boating safety course and obtained a State Certificate to operate. The minimum age to operate a PWC is 14.

• Dumping of any waste, litter, garbage, fuel, oil or sewage into any lake is unlawful.

We ask that all residents, guests and renters adhere to the above guidelines and rules to create an atmosphere of safe and friendly usage of the lake for all concerned.

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