Boaters test safety standards for recreational boating

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Boaters and sailors took to the Black Rock Canal to put safety standards to the test.

“Some of the skills, where can I make the boat go straight for 10 boat lengths, can I tack the boat one way and then back into the other direction and maintain the same course,” said Brian Dorval, National On-Water Standards Facilitator.

Through the U.S. Coast Guard’s National On-water Standards program, experts have developed new safety standards for recreational boating.

“We’re testing the sail standard which has a number of skills in those standards so we’re asking folks to go out on the water, bring those skills to life, so that folks that have generated those skills on paper can check the paper to see if that’s really an accurate representation of the skills,” said Joanne Dorval, Water Standards Project Administrator.

Skills include boarding and disembarking the boat and how to engage with other boats on the water.

“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to increase recreational boating safety on the water and so the way we’re doing that is we’re trying to build standards instructors can use that are skills based,” said Brian Dorval.

The safety standards have been field tested at venues like the Buffalo Yacht Club across the country.

“The Coast Guard collects research data every year, statistics on recreational boating and they have been seeing the numbers pretty high but they’ve been coming down which is great news but they’d like to bring them down even further,” said Brian Dorval.

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