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Parks officials urge caution for boaters during early spring

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) is advising early spring boaters and paddlers to be mindful of cold water temperatures, especially those planning to view the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8. Despite the onset of spring, waterways remain dangerously cold, prompting recommendations for wearing life jackets, insulated clothing, and eye protection for eclipse viewing.


OPRHP officials, including Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons, stress the importance of safety measures during the spring season. The department is hosting events for the eclipse, noting that campsites in the path of totality are already fully booked. Nonetheless, they encourage those venturing onto the water or parks to prepare adequately for the cold and ensure a safe experience.

Boating safety tips include checking weather and water conditions, dressing in warm layers, using the buddy system, and carrying a cell phone in a waterproof bag. Starting January 1, 2024, new regulations require all motorized vessel operators born on or after January 1, 1978, to carry a safe boating certificate, expanding to all ages by 2025. OPRHP offers both in-person and online certification options to promote safe boating practices across New York’s waterways.



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