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Following boating accident in Lockport, Hochul to propose legislation providing State Parks with oversight authority


Fri, Jun 16th 2023 08:20 pm

Current state law does not grant explicit regulatory authority to inspect a commercial boat operating within a cave for tourism 

√ Proposed legislation follows tragic tour boat accident in Lockport, which killed one passenger and injured several others

Submitted by the Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

On June 12, a tour boat in the privately run commercial Lockport Caves capsized, killing one passenger and injuring several others. Following this tragic boating accident, Gov. Kathy Hochul will propose legislation granting the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation regulatory authority over commercial tourism boats operating in caves to prevent future tragedies.

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation regulates commercial boats, but does not have the legal authority to regulate the safety of boats operating on non-navigable waters such as in caves on private property. The governor's legislation will close this loophole.

"As we mourn the loss of life resulting from the boat crash in the Lockport Caves, my administration is proposing legislation to prevent future tragedies," Hochul said. "The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has the tools to keep us safe, and this legislation will ensure they have the legal authority to use these to keep passengers safe on boats in caves."

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