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Suffolk County Passes ‘Ryan’s Law’ To Prevent Propeller Accidents On Boats

July 28, 2018 - 4:59 pm
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CENTERPORT, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- New legislation was signed Saturday to help save lives in Suffolk County.

Last summer, 12-year-old Ryan Weiss fell overboard during a sailing lesson and was struck in the chest by the ship’s propeller.

Ryan died from the injuries he sustained and his family fought to pass a law in his name that requires propeller guards to be installed on all instructional boats for children under 18.

“They wanted to be able to do something to help improve safety on the water, safety for children and they were big advocated in bringing this to me,” Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer explained.

Spencer had been the bill’s sponsor and called it “common sense.”

“It was something that was shocking, personally devastating, and I know for his family it was something that was really unbearable,” Spencer said, “but they have shown so much strength and dignity and positivity.”

The Legislator explained that Ryan’s Law was the first of its kind in the country and that it had passed unanimously among lawmakers, adding it also passed with unanimous co-sponsorship.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed the law into existence on July 28.

“This is an important month because, not only is it the anniversary of the tragedy but it’s also Ryan’s birthday month,” Spencer explained. “I think it gives Ryan and the Weisses a fantastic legacy.”