I received a call today from an MPA Board member who witnessed two episodes yesterday involving visitors and their boats with little regard to safety and common sense:
3 or 4 canoes, leaving town property, headed out in yesterday’s storm. Some very anxious moments occurred as the canoes capsized, putting inexperienced boaters in the rough water without lifejackets on or in the boats. Those who happened to catch the scene inside the safety of their home, were helpless except to watch with binoculars counting heads and calling 911 for professional assistance. Thank God that in spite of the lack of required safety equipment – life jackets, seat coushions or a buoy, and a 911 system which delays the direct reach of professionals, the boaters were able to swim to Blueberry Island to await rescue by a local with a jet ski. The police department did stay on the phone with the caller to ensure those in the water made it to shore.
Earlier in the day another group, kayakers, again without any life jackets were in need of assistance with a motor boat rescuing them.
Many of us who have lived many years on the lake know that storms come up fast and tend to circle back. We also know the safety equipment required. If you don’t know – find out! Take the boating ed course online or in person.
Boating Courses are scheduled:
Worcester Regatta Point State Park Jun 8, 10, 15, 17, and 22 6:30-9:00 PM Boat and RV Safety Bureau 508-759-0002 or 508-759-3393
There are also two links below and to the right for your convenience. If you are wondering about a certain regulation or a law – check it out. If you need to have your teenager take a course or would like a brush up yourself, do it!
To start, all children under 12 MUST WEAR a life jacket; water skiers or those tubing MUST WEAR a life jacket; anyone on a jet ski MUST WEAR a life jacket.
Also children under 12 CANNOT operate a motorboat without an adult and those 12 to 15 must have passed the boating course. To operate a jet ski you must be at least 16 and if 16 or 17 must have passed the boating ed course.