Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

July 21, 2013

Common sense can prevent lake accidents

There’s something special about summer in northern Indiana.

Maybe it’s because we spend so much of the year waiting for it to arrive.

That was especially the case this year.

Another reason is the abundance of lakes in the Goshen-area.

Whether it’s Simonton Lake, Lake Wawasee, Cedar Lake, Diamond Lake or any of the dozens of others lakes around, when summertime arrives we northern Hoosiers like to hit the lake.

Some people enjoy tubing or hopping on a Jet Ski. Others just enjoy lounging on a pontoon boat or hanging out at a sandbar. Still others never step foot in the water. The only thing they get wet is their fishing line.

Unfortunately those summer traditions are also accompanied by tragic stories.

And you don’t have to look far for such stories.

A New Paris teenager, Riley Wagner, was seriously injured in a boat crash at Lake Wawasee a couple of weeks ago. Police attributed the crash to mechanical failure.

An Ohio man died earlier this month from injuries he suffered in a swimming mishap at Big Chapman Lake near Warsaw.

Police said he was swimming with friends when he dove head first off a boat, striking his head on a sandbar.

Some mishaps like the one involving Wagner can’t be foreseen. Unfortunately, so many others can.

Enjoying our lakes can be made a lot safer by following some simple rules.

Always know your surroundings. Know where you’re at on the lake and how deep the water is. Also be mindful of others using the lake.

Last year, the Coast Guard counted 4,515 recreational boating accidents. Those accidents resulted in 651 deaths.

And despite requirements for life jackets on boats, the Coast Guard reported that 85 percent of drowning victims in 2012 weren’t wearing life jackets.

A day on the lake is made better for some with a cold beer or cocktail.

Getting behind the wheel of a boat while intoxicated is seen in the same light as getting behind the wheel of a car. Conservation officers patrol local lakes looking for intoxicated drivers. And that fact dictates they will be busy.

In 2012, alcohol was listed as the leading contributing factor in boating-accident deaths. Alcohol was connected to boating deaths 17 percent of the time.

Accident prevention seems simple enough, especially for those who grow up spending their summers on a lake.

Be careful. Wear a life jacket. If you’re of age, drink responsibly. All these warnings seem like platitudes that people shrug off as such.

The numbers indicate people still are ignoring these simple ways to stay safe.

Having fun on the lake and staying safe aren’t mutually exclusive.

Let’s hope those using our local lakes take some responsibility and avoid becoming a statistic.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • OUR VIEW: Always take depression seriously Few celebrity deaths have had the emotional global impact than that of actor/comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide on Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, California. He was 63 years old. Anybody who happened to be on social media that day knows

    August 20, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: ‘Spirits’ return to state fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week. When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putt

    August 18, 2014

  • GN140807 ox bow tower groundbreaking 01 OUR VIEW: Ox Bow tower brings our community together There’s something to be said for a new beginning. There’s a freshness, an excitement about leaving certain failures and traumas behind as we take clear and confident steps toward better and stronger tomorrows. That’s our take on what happened this pa

    August 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public safety workers close ranks around gay, lesbian colleagues INDIANAPOLIS – Jason Miller has spent 15 years in a job he loves. He’s an emergency medical technician working two jobs as a first responder, and he’s training to become a firefighter in Kokomo. Miller loves the reward of helping others, he said, and

    August 11, 2014

  • Funds, public likely to decide personnel issue Goshen city government department heads made good arguments last week why they need more funding for services. But it’s unlikely the City Council can meet all the requests, or perhaps none of them.Department superintendents and police and fire chiefs

    August 3, 2014

  • Public notices help government transparency Government units inform Americans about important actions taken or contemplated by placing public notice advertisements, or “legals,” in newspapers. This practice, as old as the United States, is no less valuable in an electronic age than it was when

    August 2, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: The nation’s higher education funding mess cannot continue Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 30, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140725 fair faces flowers 2 OUR VIEW: Another great fair is in the books Here at The Goshen News there are always mixed feelings when the Elkhart County 4-H Fair concludes for the year. On one hand, we’re as exhausted as anybody. This year’s nine-day event kicked off on July 18 and ran seemingly non-stop until the Mad Bom

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full STEAM ahead for Fairfield Fairfield Community School students and parents are enjoying their summer holiday and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week, but looking ahead to the coming school year, there are big decisions to be made that will impact their lives.The school board

    July 26, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results