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Boating classes start with safety

ALPENA, Mich. — An Alpena summer tradition officially returned Monday.

In most other situations, a tipped sailboat is bad news. On Monday, however, it was all part of the first lesson at the Alpena Youth Sailing Club.

One of their exercises involves righting a capsized boat, so kids don’t feel scared if their boat tips over.

Instructor Brynna Smith said day one is all about safety fundamentals.

“We also do the swim test, where they have to swim 25 yards around a buoy and come back. We just make sure that they can swim – with life jackets on. And then we go over boat parts and explain exactly what the sailboats are and what kind of boats they’ll be on and everything. We teach them some basic knots.”

Smith says 137 kids enrolled in the club this year: a new record.