Christian’s Law Signed
(Boston) – Senator Stephen M. Brewer
(D-Barre), Representative Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer) and Representative Todd M. Smola (R-Palmer) today announced that Christian’s
Law, a bill filed on behalf of a grieving family in memory of their son, Christian Frechette, who drowned while attending
summer camp in Sturbridge, has been signed into law.
“We have been working on getting this law passed for a long time and I am very proud
and very happy that it has been signed into law,” said Senator Stephen M. Brewer, the sponsor of the bill. “One
child drowns every minute across the globe making drowning the second leading cause of death of children under the age of
5. This bill will ensure that at-risk swimmers are identified and that proper precautions are taken to decrease drowning and
ultimately save lives.”
truly want to thank the Massachusetts lawmakers, specifically Senator Brewer, Representatives Smola and Gobi and Governor Deval Patrick, for making life safer for children of the Commonwealth with the signing of Christian's
Law. Today Massachusetts, tomorrow the nation,” said Derek Frechette, Christian’s father.
The bill, An
Act improving water safety for children in the Commonwealth, requires all summer camps in Massachusetts to test swimmers
at the beginning of the summer to determine their swimming ability level and to have on hand a coast guard approved life jacket
for every at-risk swimmer.
legislation ensures the safety of our children by matching individual swimming ability to the right swimming area,”
said Governor Patrick. “This will help reduce risks for young children so they can take full advantage of the many outdoor
recreational areas available to them in the Commonwealth.”
Additionally, the bill states that no recreational camp for
children shall prohibit a parent or guardian from providing camps with an approved personal flotation device to be used by
the minor for the duration of their attendance at camp. This provision is unique nationally in empowering parents to ensure
personal protection for their children.
“This law adds a level of safety measures for children
who enjoy water activities,” said Smola.
memory of Christian Frechette will live on through this initiative. The Frechette family, along with many volunteers and advocates,
worked tirelessly to make this law a reality. Governor Patrick has been a wonderful advocate, and it is a proud moment to
see him sign this bill.”
“I was honored to work with Senator Brewer, Representative Smola and the Frechette family.
Summer is a time to enjoy water activities and this law will protect children and hopefully prevent unnecessary tragedy,”
Brewer has been filing the bill since 2008 at the request of the Frechette family after their
son, Christian, died after he fell into the lake while attending summer camp. When his parents dropped him off that morning,
they tried to leave a life jacket for him, but the camp said it was against their policy. Christian was only 4 years old.
Frechette has been a fierce and tireless advocate for this bill,” Brewer continued. “To lose a child is one of
the deepest pains a parent can suffer. I am happy that this bill has been signed into law to prevent future tragedies.”
the bill states that amphibious landing vehicles, such as Duck Boats, must have one, easily accessible, Coast Guard life jacket,
for each passenger less than 10 years of age.
On July 13, 2007 our 4 year old son Christian passed away from Drowning at a local
town run camp. We have started a Non-Profit organization to provide life jackets to all children at all camps, lakes, beaches
and town run pools across the state of Massachusetts (Currently not required or wanted). Your donation, monetary or USCG
Approved Life Jackets would be greatly appreciated as we strive to save another family from going through this preventable
pain. I have also started a Consulting business to help others prevent this preventable tragedy. Please visit my Consulting
page for more information.
Our son Christian, drowned in our town run camp. He was there for 2 hours on his first
day and the 5 staff members and lifeguards didn’t see him. We are in the process here of changing laws and
have started a Non-Profit to change some of this law and provide USCG Approved Life Jackets to all lakes and ponds and possibly
beaches where kids can get a free loaner jacket. We set it up this way so all children will be safe even if they cant afford
to buy one. We are a tax deductible Non-Profit.
All proceeds will benefit
the Christian E. Frechette Memorial Fund (supporting child water safety programs and safe play for kids). We are asking
for your support!
Donations can be made to:
Christian E. Frechette
Memorial Fund (Tax I.D. : 042-155-342)
P.O. Box 189
Fiskdale, MA 01518