By: PaKou Lee, Red Cross Volunteer
It’s that time of the year to pack your tackle box with the best lures and hooks. Bring your fishing pole and roll out the boat because it’s a week of celebrating fishing and boating. Don’t forget the sunscreen and safety rules!
It’s always an exciting adventure when it comes to fishing and boating. It brings families together and there’s happiness all around. People are soaking up the sun with their loved ones and enjoying their time off work.
One summer that I will never forget is the summer of 2002. I was 13 years old. A family friend named Mary took my brother, niece, two cousins, and me to Lake Mille Lac, MN. Lake Mille Lac is a popular tourism for family vacations. There are plenty of activities to choose from: shopping, fishing, camping, hiking, and more. It was about a 2-hour drive up north from my home in St. Paul. Mary’s family had cabins by the shore and was big into water skiing and tubing.
The first thing we all did when we arrived was swim. The weather was extremely hot, we jumped right into the lake to cool off. Of course, Mary always made sure we had tons of sunscreen on. My niece, Amy, and I also fed leftover bread to the fish on the dock while my brother, Tee, and cousins, Fong and Dennis, fished for them.
The adults brought out the boat, skis, and water tubes. I watched Fong and Dennis struggle with the skis; it was their first time. They went into the water before they even got the chance to stand up. I was too afraid to try so I took the easy route: water tubing. All I had to do was lay on the water tube and hold on tight, that I was able to do.
Amy and I rode on one water tube together. We didn’t know what to expect, as it was our first time water tubing. We were so nervous that we squealed when the boat started to go. The speed increased and my adrenaline rush was filled with fear and exhilaration. I squinted most of the time because of the intense wind and pressure. As the boat took a turn and slowed down, Amy and I let go and went flying in the air. It was quite amazing being in the air, but it quickly ended when we landed in the water. I landed pretty hard. What felt like 6-ft. deep, I was probably 3-ft. under the water. I was so scared I wasn’t going to reach the surface in time to get air. Of course, I had my life jacket on so I floated up fine. It was so much fun, Amy and I did it again one more time before we left for home.
Fortunately, it was a great summer with no accidents for us. We wore life jackets to keep us safe, wore sunscreen to protect our skin, and stayed close to shore when swimming near by.
Here are some water safety tips to keep in mind when out celebrating this week: