(Long Island, NY) In the year since the tragic accident that took Ryan Weiss’ life too soon, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved and co-sponsored legislation requiring boats used for instructing minors to be equipped with propeller guards. The bill, Ryan’s Law (IR#1402) passed last month and was signed into law by County Executive Steve Bellone at the event.
Ryan’s Law was signed into law by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Photo Credit: Office of Suffolk County Legislator William R. Spencer.
On July 18th2017, Ryan Weiss died after a sailing lesson ended in a terrible accident. The lesson involved a controlled capsizing of the sailboat. Ryan returned to the Zodiac boat after the exercise; when the boat took off Ryan fell into the water and was impacted by the propeller.
“As a community, we have been devastated by this tragic loss. Through this difficult time, we have watched the Weiss family display bravery, dignity and resolve. Because of their strength, we are here today in honor of Ryan’s life and legacy. This legislation will make boating safer for children, not only in Suffolk County, but around our nation, as other states move to adopt a similar law,” stated the lead sponsor of Ryan’s Law, Legislator William R. Spencer.
Kellie Weiss, Ryan’s mom stated’ “The Weiss family would like to express our tremendous gratitude to Dr. Spencer and the Suffolk county legislature. Everyone’s hard work and dedication has made Ryan’s law a reality! It is an honor to our family that this law is in his name. Our hearts are forever broken, but we want to protect other children and families for suffering such a loss. This law protects children in instructional boating programs, and many recent stories lead us to believe that the majority of local clubs have already put this into place. We hope that all parents out there who hear our story will protect their own children from this type of tragedy! If you have a young child or teen operating a boat, outside of an instructional program, please get a prop guard!!”
“The Centerport Yacht Club is honored to host the signing of Ryan’s Law by Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, and we are all proud to support our fellow members the Weiss family and Suffolk County Legislator Dr. William R. Spencer in their noble efforts to bring some good out of a terrible accident,” said Commodore Erik H. Rosanes. “As we continue in our Club’s mission to encourage the sport of yachting and educate the next generation of sailors, we look forward to promoting any measures that may improve the safety of our children in and on the water.”
“Ryan’s Law is common-sense boating safety legislation, which sadly came about due to the Weiss family’s tragic loss, and it will serve the community in Ryan’s memory by preventing the same type of tragedy from happening in the future,” stated Supervisor Chad Lupinacci.
“I’d like to thank my good friend and colleague Legislator Spencer for guiding this legislation, known as “Ryan’s Law,” to passage in the Suffolk County Legislature. Boating is a wonderful activity that many residents in our County take part in, and this new law will add a significant safeguard for our youngest boaters participating in instructional boating activities. No parent should have to experience the same tragedy that claimed the life of one of our community’s most promising young men, and I believe that this legislation is a big step in ensuring just that,” stated Assemblyman Andrew Raia.
The common sense provisions of the bill won the support of all 18 legislators, as each of them cosponsored the bill. The law will take effect on the ninetieth day immediately subsequent to filing in the Office of the Secretary of State.