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Boaters can view solar eclipses safely with the guidance provided by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office



Rochester, New York – An announcement on boater safety was made by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office before April 8th’s complete solar eclipse.

First responders face new obstacles as the Rochester region gets ready for more traffic and out-of-town visitors coming to see the eclipse.

“We have been, as a Sheriff’s Office, preparing for this eclipse for a year now,” said Deputy Brendan Hurley of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. “We knew it was coming that was the nice part. In law enforcement, we don’t always have a heads-up that things are going to happen. The fact that we knew it was coming is great for us.”

Hurley clarified that part of the preparation involved getting ready for charter boats that would transport guests out on the water or possibly inexperienced boaters who would be venturing far from the shoreline in search of a better view.

“We are expecting it to be a little bit colder, so this is not the time of year you want to go in the water,” warned Hurley. “We are working with the United States Coast Guard partners to provide the most coverage and safety we can for everybody out on the water that day. We don’t know what the wake is going to be or what the waves are going to be for that day right now. As it gets a little closer, we will have a better idea but if someone goes out on a small boat, and there are large waves, that can cause a problem.”

Hurley stated that in addition to the Coast Guard’s boats and local fire departments’ boats, the Sheriff’s Office will run two marine units, each with two deputies. He provided the following safety advice.

“We want you to be safe. That means be responsible, don’t drink and operate a boat, and make sure you have life jackets, flares, and warning devices. People will be looking into the sky, and you can sometimes lose your bearings. On a boat that is moving back and forth, if someone goes over, that water is very cold and people don’t realize how cold it is. The temperature can shock your body and you won’t be able to swim as long as you think you will. Unfortunately, people can drown.”

Hurley continued, saying that because there will likely be more traffic, passengers should plan beforehand.