After a Tragedy, Life Jackets at Camp

By Sarah Birnbaum

Comments

May 18, 2012

Christian Frechette

 
BOSTON — A grieving father is calling for legislation at the Massachusetts State House aimed at preventing child drownings.
 
In 2007, 4-year-old Chrisitian Frechette drowned in a lake while attending a town-run day camp in Sturbridge. His body was found in just over 3 feet of water, in an area that was supposed to be off-limits for young and inexperienced swimmers. He was not wearing a life jacket.
 
Christian's father, Derek Frechette, and town officials disagree over the details of what exactly happened that day. But Frechette is sure of one thing: Life jackets should be available for kids at summer camp.
 
"You know, I can’t have other kids drown. My son’s memory has to be for something else. He put me here to do this. I have to make sure I save other children," he said.
 
Frechette is pushing for a bill known as "Christian’s Law" that would require state- and town-run camps to test kids for their swimming ability and have life jackets on hand for all minors. Sen. Steven Brewer of Barre is co-sponsoring the bill. He says Frechette’s tragedy hit close to home.
 
 
“I had a brother who was 4 years old when he drowned as well, so the loss of a family member is something that's very visceral," Brewer said. "There’s a lot of activity in swimming areas. To make sure that we can actually be helpful to people is very important. When you save the life of a child, you save the world.”
 
Christian’s bill has passed in the Massachusetts Senate, and supporters say they’re hopeful it will pass in the House too and become law.
 

Comment on This Article


News updates from WGBH

See a sample »

   



WCRB Celebrates the Holidays
Vehicle donation (June 2012) 89.7