Bartlett 'Sink or Swim' no problem for one boater

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com
Updated 7/15/2018 6:42 PM
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  • Lifeguard Spencer Bretz throws water into the boat of James Fagan, 6, of Bartlett as he bails it out Sunday during the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center. Boats were constructed of cardboard, duct tape and glue to see if they could float.

      Lifeguard Spencer Bretz throws water into the boat of James Fagan, 6, of Bartlett as he bails it out Sunday during the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center. Boats were constructed of cardboard, duct tape and glue to see if they could float. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Clairianah Medina, 11, of Carol Stream tries to lift her boat out of the water Sunday after it sank during the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center.

      Clairianah Medina, 11, of Carol Stream tries to lift her boat out of the water Sunday after it sank during the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Lifeguard Amber Fiedler is drenched by her co-workers after creating a makeshift raft of life preservers and floating it on the lazy river Sunday during the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center.

      Lifeguard Amber Fiedler is drenched by her co-workers after creating a makeshift raft of life preservers and floating it on the lazy river Sunday during the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

The challenge was to sink or swim, but for one young boater it was no challenge at all.

James Fagan, 6, was one of three boaters taking part Sunday in the "Sink or Swim Boat Challenge" at the Bartlett Aquatic Center, hoping for a prize of a $25 gift card to AMC Theaters.

"We opened it up to (children) to come in and build boats out of cardboard and duct tape and they race around our lazy river," said Alison Mielitz, aquatics manager for the Bartlett Park District. "Then we also have buckets of water that we throw at them to see if they sink or swim."

Boaters were required to build their boats at home using cardboard, duct tape, liquid nails and wood glue.

While the other boats quickly sank, James' craft proved seaworthy, floating around the lazy river as lifeguards poured buckets of water into it as he passed by.

"I'm excited because I won and I had a good boat," James said with a broad smile as he held onto his boat, still intact, after traveling around the lazy river four times.

This was the third year for Fagan to compete in the race and the second time he has won.

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