TREMONT — In full uniform, 87-year-old Larry Closson, a retired Coast Guard Auxiliary member, awarded his great-grandson, 10-year-old lobsterman Jason Ward, a certificate of completion in the boating course that Mr. Closson has taught on Mount Desert Island for more than four decades.
Since March of 1970, Mr. Closson has captained the 13-week adult education course called “boating skills and seamanship” as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Mount Desert Island Flotilla I-104.
“All five of my children passed this course,” he said. “It’s extremely important to me that my family is safe on the water. So many people today don’t know what safety aboard a boat means.”
On April 12, the last day of the course, Jason looked at the grade on his final exam and smiled. “I passed,” he said, handing the graded paper to his proud grandma, Lori Closson Goodwin, who herself was awarded a certificate in the course at 10 years old alongside her four brothers and sisters. She gave Jason a big hug.
“This is a really proud day for Jason and for Dad,” she said. “Now four generations of his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids have finished the class and gotten their certificate. And he’s been here for all of them.”
Though Mr. Closson retired from teaching the course three or four years ago, he’s still actively involved in the program, which focuses on educating boaters about different types of boats and their uses, aids to navigation, weather and forecasting rules of the road, safety equipment, lifesaving equipment, theory, and points of sail.
“All of this information is extremely important,” said Mr. Closson. “And now that Jason has taken the course and got his certificate of achievement, he’s qualified to run a boat. Jason and all of my kids, they all know how to do it and do it right. I’m very proud of them.”
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