by Michael Antalec
After hearing others’ complaints at board meetings and noticing unsafe situations occurring on the lake, a concerned Lake Asbury Resident spoke to Clay County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Officer, Chris Castelli, who explained that Safety Education for Lake Asbury boaters was one of the best ways we could prevent future accidents. With the aid of Wanda Green and LLOA Treasurer Kay Manly, the resident, Officer Castelli, and Chuck Whipple of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary set up a Boating Safety course, which was took place at the community center on August 9th from 9am to 4pm.
24 teenagers and 6 adults attended the Boating Safety Class, which was taught by Officer Castelli and US Coast Guard Auxiliary Officers. After passing a boater’s safety test all of the students will receive a state-issued Boating Safety Card, as required by Florida law for anyone born after January 1, 1988 to operate a motorized boat or personal watercraft (such as a jet ski)
The course was challenging but fun. The students learned the basics of Boat Handling, Laws and Regulations, PWC safety, Navigation Rules, and Aids to Navigation and got hands-on experience putting out an actual fire. In the breaks between lessons, they had the opportunity to get to know each other and eat pizza (compliments of the Lake Lot Owners Association).
Overall, it was a great community event abundant in valuable education and neighborly socializing, and, though none of us will ever know for certain, maybe it will save a life in our community.