By Lizzie Wilcox
Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone and town council members used the dedication of the newly reconstructed Halesite Marina as an opportunity to discuss boating safety measures the town plans to implement this Fourth of July weekend, and throughout the boating season.
The marina reconstruction, which was completed last week, included replacement of a deteriorated wooden bulkhead with a steel one; replacement of the wooden pilings for the marina’s 72 boat slips; elevation and movement of utilities away from the waterfront to better resist storms; upgrades to the electric service; and the addition of new security gates to the marina passageways. The project totaled $2.5 million, according to town officials.
Especially with the holiday weekend approaching, town officials said they wanted to stress the importance of safe boating.
“Be careful, watch out for people and safety really should be the number one factor,” Councilwoman Susan Berland said. “You’re spending time with your family and friends, and you want to go out on the water and have a great time, and come home safe.”
Once again, the town has been working with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Suffolk County Police Department Marine Bureau, nearby incorporated villages, and the Huntington, Northport, Centerport and Cold Spring Harbor fire departments to establish security zones near the barges that will be shooting fireworks from the water of the Long Island Sound as part of the annual display prepared by the Village of Asharoken.
A pair of 5-mph speed limit zones will be declared from 8:30-11 p.m. on July Fourth in certain parts of the water. For a map of the affected areas, visit Huntingtonny.gov. Law enforcement boats will also be patrolling throughout the harbor.
Councilwoman Tracey Edwards noted stressed the importance of protecting the town’s boaters.
“Boating is fun, but it is also very, very important that you know what you’re doing,” Edwards said.
Tony Martinez, officer in charge of the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Eatons Neck, reminded boaters to take precautions to ensure a safe trip such as checking the weather beforehand, anticipating conditions and wearing life jackets.
As a part of Safe Boating Week, which took place May 21-27 this year, the Town of Huntington partnered with the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs to offer a safe boating class. According to Petrone, over 100 participants received New York State boating safety certificates.
Proceeds from the nautical fair held during Safe Boating Week will go towards “no wake” buoys to be placed in the harbors.