Sheriff’s Office: Nine-Year-Old Reportedly Struggles To Control Watercraft On Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE – A nine-year-old was discovered by a patrol boat midlake near Long Point on Chautauqua Lake struggling to control a personal watercraft he was operating Thursday, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office. 
The youth reportedly fell off when approached and the watercraft struck the patrol vessel. There was no damage reportedly to either the personal watercraft or the patrol boat.
The child was also reportedly struggling to swim in an oversized personal floatation device when Nathan D. Hill, 45, of East Otto, NY, and a fifteen-year-old, each who were also on their own personal watercrafts, approached from a great distance.
Hill and the fifteen-year-old both allegedly failed to possess Boating Safety Certificates. Hill was arrested via an appearance ticket, and the initial personal watercraft was towed ashore as it began to sink. This first personal watercraft was also unregistered and bearing an improper registration sticker.
Hill will be arraigned in the Town of Chautauqua Court for the following: 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.
The Sheriff’s Office Navigation Division reminds citizens that they must be at least fourteen and must have successfully completed a Boating Safety Course before operating a personal watercraft. These courses are offered free by the Sheriff’s Office many times a year. Adults are also responsible for the actions of children under their supervision.

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