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Scout's Eagle Project Aims to Protect Boaters

For his project, Sal DiBenedetto aims to bring a lifejacket loaner station to the Westhampton Beach Village Marina.

Sal DiBenedetto. Credit: Patricia DiBenedetto
Sal DiBenedetto. Credit: Patricia DiBenedetto
It is only natural that Sal DiBenedetto, a 14-year-old from Westhampton Beach earn the highest rank in Boy Scouting, his Eagle Scout award, by creating a project that is focused around one of his favorite activities— boating with his family.  

For his project, DiBenedetto aims to bring a lifejacket loaner station to the Westhampton Beach Village Marina. The stand will be similar to loaner stations that Sea Tow created last year at other area marinas

"A few years ago, there was a boating accident and three kids drowned.  The Boy Scout Motto is "Be Prepared".  If you're not wearing a life jacket when you're on a boat, then you're not prepared," said DiBenedetto. 

DiBenedetto's life jacket stand will allow boaters to borrow life jackets on an honor system during the boating season. 

All of the lifejackets, both for children and adults, are being donated through Sea Tow and to fund the construction of the station, DiBenedetto said he will be hosting an 8-hour boater safety course in February. 

The boater safety course will be held at village hall from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Feb. 25 and Feb. 27. Participants must attend both sessions to earn the required New York State boater certification. 

DiBenedetto, who is one of the original five members of Westhampton Boy Scout Troop 62, said the class open to anyone ten years old and older for a a $30 donation. 

"This project is important to me because I want boaters to stay safe on the water," said the Westhampton Beach freshman, who when not on the water is playing football and lacrosse or wrestling.

To register for the boating safety class, call (631) 288-1871.

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