YOUR | LETTERS July 18, 2012
Boating, personal watercraft etiquette can save lives
I write this in hopes of saving lives:
We carefully checked all our safety gear, made sure we had our proper boating license, tabs and everything was in working order. Off we went for our first boating outing of the season. We made sure to have proper life vests, a bright new flag and both our tubers had their life vests on and properly fitting. We had a driver and an attentive spotter.
Then picture this if you will…You are watching your son’s wet, dark head bobbing up and down in the water after falling off the inner tube. And to your horror you see a jet skier closing in on him at top speed, your flag is up, your yelling and YOU CAN’T GET THERE FAST ENOUGH because you have to turn the boat, and you have another person still on the tube.
You chant: “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” to your husband who’s driving, and you know that it’s only up to fate whether your son’s head is smashed by the oblivious jet skier or not. At the last minute the jet skier, who was looking at the beach and not where he was going, just misses your son and you feel like crying, you’re nauseous and shaking so hard you can hardly function from the useless adrenaline.
As you finally reach him, your precious 14-year-old, who just missed being killed says to you, “man that *%#@!# got really close!” and you think, “you don’t even know the half of it.”
This is the experience we had out on beautiful Lake Stevens. Just an instant before this happened I was just about to call to my husband who was driving and tell him the jet skier was following in our wake, and to turn the boat so we would lose him. And that is, of course, when my son fell off the tube.
I grew up on Lake Washington and learned the safety etiquette of boating on a lake with other boats that are pulling people behind them. I learned that you do not follow in a boat’s wake if they are pulling someone. It’s not a new rule. The jet skier obviously did not learn this rule and it nearly cost my son his life. The jet skier not only wasn’t following that rule, but he was not looking where he was going or aware of what was going on around him. He was too worried about who might be admiring him from Davies Beach.
I write this in hopes that it will make people think. That it will prompt people to have a discussion about proper safety etiquette with regards to boats pulling skiers, wake boarders or tubers. There are rules, they are for important reasons and they can save lives! We just got lucky—it could have gone very wrong and ruined many people’s lives today. There were only a few feet of difference between me thanking God and tragedy.
Harmsworth the right person for State Rep
The primary ballots are out and it is time to decide who will be the “Top-2” for each position up for election this year, I want to endorse Mark Harmsworth for State Representative in the 44th District.
I met Mark, discussed issues, and realized that he has great ideas, and has an incredible desire to move Washington forward. Mark is a two-term city councilman from Mill Creek, he knows first hand what our local cities need to provide the best services for their citizens.
After discussing the future of the state with Mark, he demonstrates an understanding that capital and infrastructure projects should make Washington, in particular the 44th District, attractive to businesses and expand economic development.
He is dedicated to doing his part in Olympia and be a representative of common sense solutions to our state’s problems.
Please check Mark out for yourself at http://www.markharmsworth.com, do your research and make an informed decision.