Child Rescued On Chautauqua Lake

A 9-year-old was rescued on Chautauqua Lake on Thursday by 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.

Deputies also rescued a 77-year-old man on Chautauqua Lake Friday. According to deputies, the Sheriff’s Department received a report of a sailboat that overturned, and the man was unable to get back in the boat. The man had been in the water for an extended period of time and had become extremely fatigued and hypothermia was beginning to set in. Deputies said man was wearing a personal floatation device.

A pontoon boat found the man and people on the Pontoon boat entered the water to assist him, however they were unable to get him out of the water. Navigation deputies arrived on scene and with the help of the people, the man was pulled from the water onto the boat. The unidentified man was then transferred to a Sheriff’s Navigation Unit boat and transported to Midway State Park where he was checked by EMT’s from the Maple Springs Fire Dept., and the Chautauqua County Paramedic Unit. The man was not transported to the hospital.