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Reckless Boating in Spotlight; Experts Fear More Trouble

The disaster on July 4 raises new questions about safety requirements for boaters.

TheJuly 4, where three died on a pleasure craft after watching a fireworks display, has raised the region's consciousness about  

Many experts and boat enthusiasts about the conditions in the water that night -- hundreds of boats in dark, open water -- as well as overall concerns about reckless boating and untrained pilots.

The capsizing and sinking of the Kandi Won has also uncovered a general lack of oversight over the boating community. There has been a high-profile crackdown on drunken boating in recent years. But boat owners aren't licensed. In fact, they're not even required to take a safety course.

Experts say that can have fatal consequences.

What should be done?. Is it time to regulate boat owners the way we license and test drivers for competency? Do enforcement efforts need to be stepped up, or is there nothing to prevent recklessness on Long Island's waterways?

Take our poll; weigh in on the comments. Your opinion can help shape the next round of our coverage of this important public safety issue.

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