Watch CBS News

Brianna's Law Passes First Hurdle Toward Better Boating Safety Training In New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) As people start getting into boating season, there's a mother on Long Island fighting to keep mariners safe with Brianna's Law.

For Gina Lieneck, her life changed forever in a single moment was in 2005, reports CBS2's Cindy Hsu.

Her 11-year-old daughter, Brianna, was killed in a boating accident after another boat smashed into their cabin cruiser off the coast of Long Island.

Gina and her husband barely survived the crash. Once recovered, she made a promise in her daughters memory.

"I can make a promise to her that I would make the waterways safer for other families, and make sure this never happens to them," she said.

For 13 years, Gina has been fighting to get Brianna's Law passed. It would require all boaters in New York to take a one-day, eight-hour boating safety class.

"I get some slack that you'll get somebody that will say I've been boating for 30, 40 years," said Lieneck. "OK, so let me ask you a few questions, and they don't know the rules and regulations."

MORE: Long Island Mother Renews Push For Boat Safety Law Named For Her Daughter

She's been working on convincing politicians to support Brianna's Law, and it's been a tough battle, but just this week it passed the New York state senate.

"I just burst out in tears, I just couldn't believe it because it's been so many years," said Lieneck.

Gina has never been on a boat again, often visits the Great South Bay where Brianna died. She says she feels closer to her there.

"Just if we can save one life and one family from having to go through this, than it was worth the 13 years of fighting," she said.

Brianna's Law will now go to the New York State Assembly, likely within the next few weeks. If it passes, it heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk and could be in effect Jan. 1, 2020.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.