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Suffolk County Executive Bellone, Police Commissioner Hart Announce Upcoming Safe Boating Courses Offered Through SCPD Marine Bureau

Course Now Required Under New State Law Created in Memory of 11 year-old Brianna Lieneck who Tragically Died in a Boat Crash

Video of Gina Lieneck – Brianna’s Mother – Will Now Be Incorporated into the SCPD Course  

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart today announced the schedule for the upcoming NYS Safe Boating Course sessions offered by the Suffolk County Police Department.

While the course is not new, requirements for completion are. Under Brianna’s Law, which was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 6 of last year, all mariners are required to complete the course and have a safety certificate by 2025. Each participant must attend two sessions for a total of eight hours of instruction.

The law was created in memory of Brianna Lieneck, an 11-year-old Deer Park resident who died in a boat crash, which also injured her parents, sister and a family friend, in the Great South Bay in 2005.

The County Executive also announced that a new video, featuring Brianna’s mother Gina Lieneck, will now be incorporated into the course offered by the police department. Since the crash, Brianna’s mother, Gina, has been lobbying for stricter boater safety regulations in New York State. The video urges those attending the class to pay special attention to the four hour class, as the lessons taught throughout the course can help prevent the type of tragedy Gina and her family had to endure.

“Through her incredible advocacy, Gina Lieneck turned tragedy into triumph, successfully working to make our waterways safer for all New Yorkers,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone.  “By showing this video of Gina at the start of the safety course, our hope is to drive home the importance of being properly educated and remind residents of the real life consequences that reckless behavior on our waterways can have. Through these classes we hope to prevent future tragedies and ultimately save lives.”

 

“No family should have to suffer the devastating loss the Lieneck family has lived with during the past 14 years,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “Officers from the SCPD Marine Bureau are proud to be a part of the educational process of making Suffolk County waterways safer and it is our hope that Brianna’s Law will help prevent similar tragedies.”

Over the years, Brianna’s Law has been one of County Executive Bellone’s legislative priorities in Albany. In 2012, Suffolk County passed a local law requiring all residents of Suffolk County to have a boating safety certificate in order to operate a boat, but that law was then superseded by State law which required operators born on or after May 1, 1996, to have a certificate showing completion of a boat safety course. 

The course will be held at the Suffolk County Police Academy in Brentwood from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and boaters must attend both nights. Participants must be at least 10 years old and it is recommended attendees younger than 16 attend with a parent/guardian. There is no cost to take the course, however there is a $10 fee for the certificate which is to be paid to the NYS Parks Department. To enroll, call the Marine Bureau at 631-854-8382.

Dates for the course are January 27 & 28; February 17 & 18; March 23 & 24; April 27 & 28; and May 18 & 19.

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