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Kayaker death spurs call for navigation law update

April 18, 2011
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

QUEENSBURY (AP) - Under state navigation law, a sailboat is a vessel, but canoes and kayaks are not.

Both the prosecutor and defense lawyer in a case against a man whose motorboat killed a kayaker say the case demonstrates the need for changes in navigation law to protect paddlers.

A Queensbury town justice last week dismissed a traffic violation of failing to yield right-of-way against the motorboat driver who broadsided a kayak on Lake George last June, saying the navigation law makes no mention of giving kayaks or canoes the right of way.

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy told the Glens Falls Post-Star his office is considering lobbying state legislators to update the law.

Defense lawyer Kurt Mausert, himself a kayaker, agreed a change in state navigation law was needed.



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