Kupchick pushes for safer boat towing laws

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

On May 18, State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) supported what advocates are calling “Emily’s Law” in the House of Representatives, a law which creates safe boat towing laws in Connecticut to reduce the risk of injury and death attributed to waterskiing and other water sports.

The legislation, SB-699 An Act Establishing A Minimum Age For Towing Any Person By Vessel And Requiring The Completion Of Safe Towing Instruction Prior To The Issuance Of A Safe Boating Certificate, requires a person who operates a watercraft or boat engaged in skiing to be at least 16 years old; hold a (a) valid U.S. Coast Guard-issued vessel operator license, (b) Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)-issued safe boating certificate (SBC) or certificate of personal watercraft operation (CPWO), or (c) a boating safety certificate from a state with a reciprocal agreement with Connecticut; and hold a DEEP-issued safe water skiing endorsement obtained after completing safe water skiing instruction.

The proposal to establish a minimum age for towing any person by vessel and requiring the completion of a safe towing course prior to engaging in the activity was authored after the tragic accidental boating death of Emily Fedorko in Greenwich last summer.

Rep. Kupchick said, “My hearts breaks for Emily and her family. My hope for the passage of this legislation is to prevent another terrible boat towing tragedy. Common sense protections like an age restriction and additional education can and will make skiing and tubing safer.”

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