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Honoring Emmy Gorman with a boater safety program

todayJune 21, 2024 4

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With the Fourth of July just around the corner, area lakes and rivers will be busy with boaters, skiers, and swimmers.

But a Sioux Falls mother, who tragically lost her teenage daughter in a boating accident last year on Lake Madison, has a somber safety message for those looking to have a little fun.

13-year-old Emmy Gorman lost her life last year over the Fourth of July out here on Lake Madison.

“Emmy loved the lake and she loved tubing and unfortunately was struck by a jet ski while she was tubing and later died from her injuries,” Stacy Gorman said.

Water rescue at Huset’s Speedway

This is the first time Emmy’s mother has been back to Lake Madison, because it brings back so many painful memories.

“This was just so needless, this could have been prevented,” Stacy said.

That’s why her mom, Stacy and others are reminding people to be extremely careful when out on the water.

Because of Emmy’s accident, the Lake Madison Association is holding a boat safety seminar Saturday and everyone is welcome, including the most experienced boaters.

“Just like a motorcycle driver, you don’t drive them in our part of the country yearly, so what happens you’re not proficient, so even people who have been out on the water for many many years should come out for our training,” Lake Madison Association safety chairman Larry Kotten said.

Larry Kotten is the Lake Madison Association safety chairman. He says this is the first time they’ve held a boater safety training program.

“Currently in the state of South Dakota there is no training whatsoever for boaters,” Kotten said.

The safety program is 30 minutes long, but you’ll learn a lot about staying safe while out on the water.

“The key thing would be the awareness, first off boats don’t have brakes you know you need to be looking out in front of you and looking around 360 degrees because boats can come up and pass you they might be to the right of you and you want to turn into them and they can’t stop and neither can you,” Kotten said.

“My hope is to prevent something like this from ever happening again, I think if people could be careful and aware of their surroundings while they are on the lake this sort of accident could be prevented,” Stacy said.

Following Emmy’s death, a man was charged with reckless operation of a boat. According to court records, he ended up serving two months of work-release.

The boater safety training program is tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hillside Resort.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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