(2:36 PM) Nine-Year-Old Rescued Thursday After Losing Control Of Personal Watercraft On Chautauqua Lake

A 9-year-old was rescued on Chautauqua Lake on Thursday after the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Dept. Navigation Patrol after the child was unable to control a personal watercraft he was operating.

The patrol boat found the youth in the middle of the lake near Long Point. The youth fell off the watercraft when approached and the watercraft hit the patrol boat; there was no damage to either vessel. The initial personal watercraft was later towed to shore because it began to sink.

Deputies report the youth was struggling to swim in an oversized personal floatation device when an adult and a 15-year-old, each of whom were on their own personal watercraft, approached from a long distance away. Neither the 9-year-old nor the adult, Michael Hill, 45, of East Otto, or the 15-year-old had boating safety certificates.

Hill was charged with failure to possess a boating safety certificate, two counts of allowing a subject to operate a personal watercraft without a boating safety certificate, permitting operation of an unregistered personal watercraft and allowing a child under 12 to wear an oversized personal floatation device. He will be in Chautauqua Town Court later.

The sheriff’s office Navigation Division reminds citizens they must be at least 14 years of age and have successfully completed a Boating Safety Course before operating a personal watercraft. The courses are offered free by the Sheriff’s Department several times a year. Sheriff’s Department officials also remind adults that they are responsible for the actions of children under their supervision.