Police give boat safety tips ahead of holiday weekend - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police give boat safety tips ahead of holiday weekend

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Stratford police are urging Connecticut residents to be safe on the water this Memorial Day weekend. (WFSB) Stratford police are urging Connecticut residents to be safe on the water this Memorial Day weekend. (WFSB)
STRATFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Stratford police are urging Connecticut residents to be safe on the water this Memorial Day weekend.

Channel 3's Matt McFarland spoke with officials who keep a close eye on boaters around this time of year.

Stratford police officers Marc Halper and Paul Fressola are part of the town's marine patrol unit. 

They will be patrolling the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound this weekend and conducting check points

"We're just doing a quick safety check, make sure you have your life vests, proper license," said Fressola.

Boater Joe Hess passed the checkpoint, but said many boaters aren't cautious enough.

"Just go easy and get off before it gets dark," said Hess.

Police said life preserver's are especially important for boaters. Without it, an accident can quickly turn deadly.

"That was a big cause of death last year. In all of the boating accidents in CT, no one had their life preserver on. Although there were only six, that's six too many," said Fressola.

In addition to the checkpoint, Emily's law was recently put in place following the tubing accident that killed Greenwich teenager Emily Fedoroko.

Now boaters who tow tubers must first take a safe water-skiing online course and have a boating license.

There must also be a spotter on the boat.

"We don't want to stop anyone's good time but at the same time we don't want anyone to get hurt," said Halper.

For a list of boater safety tips, visit the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website.

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