Sunday, February 18, 2018




Answer line: Boys Scouts were trained in sailing

Jan. 19, 2018 at 11:38 p.m.


QUESTION: As I've read about the three Boy Scouts who died in the sailboat accident on Lake O' the Pines, I've wondered, were they trained in operating the sail boat?

ANSWER: The two older boys were, yes, and the youngest boy was simply riding in the boat with them.

I spoke with Daniel Anderson, the assistant Scout executive with the East Texas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, who explained something I thought was good to know about how the Scouting program teaches boys a variety of skills: it's called the "EDGE" method, with each of those letters representing: Explaining what to do, demonstrating how to do it, guiding the boys through it (using a new skill with help) and then enabling the Scouts to do it on their own.

That's the method used to teach boys the skills they need to earn the various merit badges that help them advance through Boy Scouts.

"You never get to the enable step and pass on a boy doing something he's not ready for," Anderson said.

With that in mind, Anderson said Will Brannon, 17, and Heath Faucheux, 16, who died immediately after the sailboat made contact with a power line on Lake O' the Pines, knew how to sail the boat. Thomas Larry, 11, was riding in the boat with them. He survived the initial accident but died later at the hospital.

Anderson said the older boys had both earned the small boat sailing merit badge, which they could not have done without first earning such prerequisites as swimming, rowing, canoeing and first aid and others.

"You can't just jump into the sailing merit badge," Anderson said. "They were fully qualified to be doing what they were doing.

"They were both experienced sailors," he said, and specifically experienced with that boat as it belonged to one of the boys' families. They also were sailing with the approval of the adult leadership at the lake that day.

Scouting has established "age appropriate" activities, Anderson said, so a young Boy Scout wouldn't be in a wilderness survival situation or driving a motorboat, for instance.

"Safety is a priority. That's part of our motto is to 'be prepared,'" he said. "In this case, these boys were prepared to take out that boat."

Also, Anderson said the adults accompanying the boys to the lake were prepared to respond to emergencies with CPR and other pertinent skills.

"That's what makes this so tragic is the boys were doing the right thing," he said. "Something wasn't right with the situation, but it wasn't because of a lack of preparedness."

Q: Why is Red Lobster in Longview for sale?

A: It's not really the restaurant that's for sale, but the property where the restaurant is located. I'm guessing you saw the online listing for the property, which was created almost a year ago. That listing explains that Red Lobster has 22 years remaining on the lease for the property, which consists of a 1.27-acre lot and a 6,380-square-foot building.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

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