Editorial: When out on the water, expect the unexpected

(Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)
The National Boat Safety Week started May 17. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

The boating season is just getting into full swing and already the region has already seen two boat trips end tragically. 

Most recently, 62-year-old Daniel Strelczuk of Thompson, Conn., disappeared Saturday afternoon in Fishers Island Sound, drawing response from local marine rescue crews. As we go to print, he is still missing and is presumed dead. And on May 5, the U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of another sailor, Ciro Stellges, 59, of Selden, a father of four, one day after he left Mattituck and went missing on Long Island Sound.

These weren’t kids out joyriding; they were grown men in sailboats. It goes to show the perils of heading into the bays, the Sound or the Atlantic Ocean at any time — with any amount of experience under your belt.

The idea behind National Boat Safety Week, which started May 17 and runs through the weekend, is to underscore the importance of operating any water craft as safely as possible — because it’s already dangerous enough on our crowded waters.

Those looking to take safety courses should contact the Peconic Bay Power Squadron at pbps.us for schedules and instructor contact information.