Boaters Urged to Safely Navigate Waterways this Summer
(POINT PLEASANT) -- Launching the start of the Fourth of July weekend, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez today joined Chief of the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau Dennis Tully and the New Jersey Marine Trades Association to remind boaters to stay safe, to be prepared and to be sober on the waterways this summer.
“Safety is a priority for the Motor Vehicle Commission and it is essential to carry this message from the roadways to the waterways,” said Martinez. “This weekend, and for the rest of the summer, there will be many recreational boaters and it is important for them to safely navigate our coastline, our rivers and our lakes.”
“Unfortunately, many individuals who are recreational boaters are not properly trained and licensed,” Martinez noted.
State law requires all operational boats to be properly titled, registered and maintained. All boats over 12 feet in length must be titled, either at the time of sale or within 10 days of purchase. All titled boats must also be registered.
Martinez added that to operate a jet ski in the State of New Jersey, the driver must be at least 16 years of age and have a boat license or endorsement.
A Boating Safety Course Certificate is required to receive a boat license or endorsement. The New Jersey State Police has over 70 approved boating safety courses that are available to New Jersey residents. More information on boating safety courses can be found at www.njsp.org. The Boating Safety Manual is available for download at www.njmvc.gov.
The New Jersey State Police Marine Unit helps to patrol the 1,960 square miles of coastline, fresh water lakes and rivers in New Jersey. This year, there have already been 17 boating accidents, including two fatalities, reported to the NJ State Police. In 2010, there were a total of 116 boat accidents reported, including eight fatalities, and 33 accidents with non-fatal injuries to 49 people.
“Highlighting safety measures and educating boaters is essential in order to reduce these casualties,” Martinez said.
“As a boat operator you have a responsibility to the entire boating community to operate the vessel safely,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Adhering to the laws and safety protocols associated with vessel operation will ensure that a fun- filled outing with family and friends does not turn into a tragedy.”