Boat renters on Lake George now have to watch safety video

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The busy season is just getting started on Lake George.

Before you jet off onto Lake George this season, if you want to rent a boat, you’ll now have to watch a new six-minute safety video.

Summer 2016 proved to be a dangerous summer for boating on Lake George, and multiple accidents prompted the Park Commission to create new guidelines for rentals.

“Last summer was busy,” Dave Wick, of the Executive Director Lake George Park Commission, said.  “At the end of every year we do a marine patrol report and we found a trend that is rental boaters tend to be less experienced and we see more accidents coming from people who rent boats on Lake George than the typical owner who owns their own boat”

Wick says he worked with 28 local marinas to create a standardized training plan for all renters before they take to the waters. Those marinas have had their permits updated to show they’re in compliance with the new rules, which take effect immediately.

The safety video includes important navigational rules, speed limits, laws about boating while intoxicated, and important regulations about water skiing and tubing.

“If you’re towing someone like a water skier you have three people so the driver isn’t looking backwards. We had an accident a bad one last year where the driver wasn’t looking where he was going and ran over the top of another boat that was a rental boat accident.”

Freedom Boat Club is just one rental operation looking forward to the new safety training.

“I think that’s going to benefit all boaters not just the renters I think the boaters that are on Lake George that own on boats,” Matt O’Hara, of the Freedom Boat Club, said. “There are some different challenges on Lake George and part of our program is letting them know what those challenges are and orienting them to the different aspects of boating on Lake George that they might not be used to.”

Even with most on board with the new rules, some rental facilities like Freedom are implementing their own operator training. O’Hara insists you can never be too safe.

“Even though now you know the rules of the road and you’re a safe boater, assume that everyone else out there does not know these rules and so the fact that more people are going to know the rules it’s a really big deal”

If you’d like to take a closer look at the new boating safety rules, they are on the Park Commission’s website.

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