Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson (right) and Dep. Luke Combs talk lake safety Wednesday, June 10 from a pontoon on Lake Fenton. 

 Anyone wanting to take part in a free countywide boater safety class Thursday, June 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Lake Fenton High School parking lot can register by calling (810) 257-3422.

 Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson made the live Facebook announcement of this free class Wednesday morning, June 10 from a pontoon on Lake Fenton. Following the two-hour class, there will be instructions to take an online test in order to get a boater safety certificate.

 Any motorized boat operator born after June 30, 1996, is required by law to pass a boater safety class and to carry a boater education card. In addition, boater education is also required for all PWC operators born after December 31, 1978.

 The sheriff said the two-hour class provides extensive instruction, including general CPR instruction, and methods to stop bleeding during an accident on the water.

 Through a partnership with Lake Fenton Community Schools and the sheriff’s office, the parking lot at Lake Fenton High School will be open to anyone wanting to take this class.

 The sheriff said the inspiration behind the class comes from the death of Lexi Simon, 17, of Fenton, who was killed in a personal watercraft accident May 24. Being dear friends with the Simon family, Swanson said her death generated a lot of discussion about lake safety.

 “We’re doing this for our community,” Swanson said.

 Swanson said Dep. Luke Combs, who heads the marine division for the county will take part in this class to teach everyone the rules of the lake.

 “We want to inform people,” Combs said. “Water is unforgiving.”

 The marine division covering area lakes are typically college students studying criminal justice and are funded through state grants.

More lake safety

 The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has a trained dive team, which is constitutionally required of the sheriff’s office.

 The dive team consists of 15 members, mostly deputies as well as a few volunteers. They have a variety of equipment including sonar for 360-degree scanning for recovery and rescue.

 The sonar makes it possible for the dive team members to limit the time they are in the water. Diving can be dangerous and the dive team trains constantly for 24/7 coverage. For those on duty, there is generally a 15-minute response time.

 Those interested in dive team training can get more details by calling the county dispatch center at (810) 257-3422.

Watch Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson’s weekly update from Lake Fenton at:

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