Governor signs law named after teen who died in Greenwich boating accident

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HARTFORD–A new bill has been signed into law in honor of a teenage girl who died last summer

On June 4, Gov. Dan Malloy signed “Emily’s Law,” which establishes a minimum age for towing people behind a boat. It also requires boaters to complete safe towing instruction before earning a boating certificate.

Boat operates must be at least 16 and have a valid operator’s license, unless someone over the age of 18 who has had a valid safe boating certificate for at least two years is present to supervise. You can read the full law here. The law goes into effect on October 1, and fines for violating the law would range from $60 to $250.

The law previously stated that you needed to be just 13 years old to operate a private boat in Connecticut, so long as you have a safe boating certificate.

Emily Fedorko was 16 when she was killed in a boating accident in Greenwich last summer. Another teen was seriously injured as well after the boat they were tubing off of hit them. Two of their friends, who were 15 or 16 years old, were in the boat at the time of the accident. The operator did have a certificate to operate the boat.

In February, Emily’s parents testified in support of the bill. “We simply must educate our young adults, as well as any new boater, with all we can on safety on and off the water,” her father said while testifying.

You can read their statement here.

Her story gained national attention on Monday when the Today Show aired a segment in which Emily’s parents speak about the tragedy, and why Emily’s Law is important.

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