Safe Lake initiative places more life rings

Shown are local representatives and families of Sean Craig and Henry D. Ross III who unveiled new safety measures on the Great Sacandaga Lake on Tuesday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

MAYFIELD — Families of Sean Craig and Henry Ross, along with representatives of Hudson River-Black River, Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, state police and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office unveiled new safety measures as part of the Safe Lake Initiative for the Great Sacandaga Lake.

Members of the Safe Lake initiative unveiled two new waterside life rings that have been installed at the Hudson River-Black River Regulating district, making them one of the 16 strategic location points around the lake to have the life rings in efforts to prevent future tragedies.

“This is an initiative that is being undertaken by 16 partner agencies, groups and organizations to make the lake safe,” said John Callaghan, executive director of Hudson River-Black River Regulating District.

There are a total of 25 life rings placed throughout the 16 strategic points, some locations have more than one. Those strategic points include Captain Nauti’s Sunset Grill, Cranberry Cove Marina, Edinburg Marina, Inn at the Bridge, Lanzi’s on the Lake, Lakeside Tavern, Miller Grandview Marina, Northampton Marina, Park Marine Base, Reets Waterfront Marina, Sacandaga Bible Conference, Sacandaga Boat Club, Sport Island Pub, Wally’s Driftwood Park and Watersedge Campground.

Callaghan said the life rings are throwable devices are for anyone to throw out to someone in the water who may be drowning.

“Throw, don’t go,” Callaghan said. “We want to throw them a life ring if you have one, or really anything that floats. It could be a seat cushion, could be a life jacket, but the idea is to throw somebody a device they can reach and save a life.”

Theresa Dabiere-Craig and Maria Ross are two mothers who tragically lost their sons, Sean Craig and Henry D. Ross III, on the lake.

Henry D. Ross III died in a tragic snowmobile accident, and Sean Craig died from an accidental drowning — both on the Great Sacandaga Lake.

Dabiere-Craig and Ross used the loss of their sons to turn the grief into something good creating the Henry D. Ross Memorial Fund and the Sean Craig Memorial Fund. The two funds have developed safety initiatives to help promote safe recreation on the lake.

The Sean Craig Memorial Fund created the life rings in hopes of saving the life of someone who is drowning.

Making the life rings is Taylor Made Products, and they can be purchased at Alpin Haus. Taylor Made Products purchased and donated the first 12 life rings, and another 12 were purchased by the Sean Craig Memorial Fund.

“It’s a symbolism of safety in and around the water,” Dabiere-Craig said. “We’re just asking people to be responsible on the water, near the water.”

The Henry D. Ross Memorial Fund in February launched the Send It app, which is a recreational GPS based alert app. The app can alert anyone of any possible hazards on the lake, and allows anyone to mark any hazards.

“We’ve been working on launching our app that we started in February. It’s really been a great hit for winter, we would also like it to be used for summer,” Ross said. “High activity on the lake or debris floating, it can be used for boating season too.”

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said those two organizations have done a lot for the community.

“We want people to enjoy the lake, the problem that we see is people have to pull back a little bit and remember that’s there are people out there who are sailing, there’s people swimming, there’s people kayaking. It’s not just the speed boats and the jet skis, Giardino said. “We’re asking people to enjoy yourself, be responsible, limit your drinking, have a designated boat driver as we will enforce the laws on the lake for boating while intoxicated.”

By Patricia Older

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