Boat on road promoting safety

May 2010 News

A 19-foot pontoon boat with an electric engine will make its first voyage this summer - on the roads of the north country.

New York Sea Grant at SUNY Oswego has stocked the boat with necessities required by the Coast Guard in an effort to promote boating safety. The boat is aimed at reminding boaters of safety equipment that may not be at the forefront of their minds, said David G. White, a recreation and tourism specialist with Sea Grant.

"The idea behind this is to get people's attention, get them on board and teach them things they might not have known," Mr. White said. "We might remind one boater that they need a new life jacket, and if that device saves even one life, then it was worth it - even if we just save some people from getting a ticket out on the water."

Mr. White said the landlocked boat, pulled by a red truck, will be the main attraction during a Seaway Trail road tour. On June 22 through 24, the boat will travel from Ogdensburg to Erie, Pa., making stops at Sackets Harbor, Niagara Falls and other points along the byway.

"The boat is really going to help get the message out to the public," said Kara L. Dunn, Sea Grant publicist.

During the summer, the pontoon boat will make stops at the New York State Fair, Skaneateles and other spots throughout the Finger Lakes.

"This has been a thought for quite some time," Mr. White said.

"With a survey that we sent out, we found that boaters want more information about boating safety and new products that are available."

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