Boaters must be prepared

A trip out on the water is a lot of fun, but it’s ripe for danger if you’re not prepared.
Jul 21, 2014


Take, for example, the group of hearing-impaired adults who overloaded a pontoon boat to watch the Fourth of July fireworks on the Grand River, then became stranded when they ran out of gas. They also did not have an adequate number of life jackets.

But for the calm 13-year-old girl, the oldest of three children aboard the craft that night, what was an embarrassing discomfort could have been a tragedy. The girl used a cellphone to call for help and then help guide rescuers to the boat stuck in the chilly fog somewhere near Lloyd’s Bayou.

“This is the perfect example of how something can turn tragic,” Senior Chief Justin Olson of the Coast Guard Station Grand Haven told the Tribune.

Commanding a boat is much like driving a four-wheeled vehicle on land: Train for it, don’t drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel, keep your eyes on the road/water, know where you’re going, and make sure your car/boat is tuned up and gassed up.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers boating safety classes right here in Grand Haven, as well as vessel safety checks. Call the Coast Guard office for information or visit

And if a Coast Guard crew hails you over, be appreciative. They’re there to ensure your boat and crew are safe for the open water.

Do you have a question for the Tribune? E-mail it to, and type MAILBAG in the subject line. Or mail it the old-fashioned way to: Grand Haven Tribune, MAILBAG, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417. We'll do our best to get you an answer! A new Mailbag appears on three times a week: at 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


Barry Soetoro

I had to click and zoom in just to make sure that wasn't Lanivan.


I wouldn't be caught dead in those shorts!

Wonder if he's looking for the location of our beer summit?

Barry Soetoro

Yeah, high and dry about sums up the Summit...


Frankly, by the looks of it, I don't know if this guy could handle one of our summits....and cry me a river - I threw out a date and time, leaving the location for you to fill in the blank weeks ago, but you went awol. Hey - maybe the guy above is YOU!!...

Barry Soetoro

I guess I dropped the ball. In my defense that must have been right after I was personally attacked for posting during alleged nice weather in Grand Haven - but I did see that after the fact and was hoping you wouldn't call me on it. Still miffed that commenter went unmoderated. Oh wait, these are ALL off topic!


Bingo. I'm tellin' ya - we're doomed. And, by the by, your word salad of an explanation for standing me up indicates you could stand some boating preparation classes before your next trip out on the water.


It's not fair I tell ya, I make one off-topic comment and I get attacked by that hillbilly psycho SCH3933939333999-339, while you two play off-topic badminton here and there's nary a word about your abuse of the forum with this banter that applies not one wit to the topic at hand. Where is Mississippi's finest when we really need him?


You think this is bad, wait until I start commenting in Morse Code.

With your last few replies to SCH3933939333999-339,, I'm beginning to wonder if YOU aren't actually SCH3933939333999-339! It has been a golden opportunity to showcase your masterful mastery of the rhetorical put-down, and is an inspiration to all - or at least to me, anyway.

But the real question is - where is he? I guess he decided not to "fly-in" tonight!


Rest assured dear lady that SCH39339333999-339 and myself are indeed two very different people, in fact, near as I can tell, two very different species.

As to where he might be? I can only speculate that he is probably still trying to figure out how to activate that link that I so generously shared with him for his own personal edification.

Weird Al rules!

deuce liti

Mmmmm... off-topic comments! !! (Homer Simpson drool)

I'm more concerned about the pictured man's giant right arm and scrawny left. This man needs 20ccs of vitamin supplements stat! And by stat I mean now.


Lani, commenting in Morse Code? That's too

Maybe Binary code would be more fun? :)


LOL - Actually, Riverside, Morse Code would be plenty challenging - have you seen the length of some of my comments?? Binary code, once I wore out the 0/1 keys, would make me cross-eyed!.....(or is that your point??) 8^)


Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.