Monday

They are not the Baby Sitters of America!!

What really sickens me about the story below, about a scout who fell overboard a boat while horseplaying, is that even though the adults who were there, and the crew of the ship told the kids to wear life jackets and to stop fooling around. They didn't listen and now one of them is probably dead. And the parents (the dad was on the boat) no doubt will sue the Boy Scouts of America, the boat, the Scoutmaster (personally) and probably the chartering organization.

I'm glad I'm getting out before I have to tell some kids parent that their brat who doesn't listen is probably dead, and then wait to get sued because of it.


Boy's drowning stuns S.I. nabe
By DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Grief enveloped a Staten Island neighborhood yesterday as relatives and friends mourned a popular Boy Scout who died when he fell overboard while horsing around on a Jersey Shore whale-watching trip.

Weeping youngsters gathered at the home of Nicholas Johs, 14, who was jumping on the bow of the boat when he fell into the water in front of his dad and fellow scouts.

"I don't know, I don't know," murmured Steven Johs as a friend consoled him in the doorway of his West Brighton home.

Neighbors said they remembered Nicholas as a good student at Blessed Sacrament School who loved to go on scouting trips and was teaching his younger sister to ride a bike.

"He's a great kid - polite, funny," said Sharon Centner, 43, whose son was a friend of Nicholas. "The family is so loving. They always spend time together."

Steven Johs and four other adults were aboard the 90-foot Whalewatcher II Saturday afternoon when Nicholas and some of the other 10 scouts started hopping in sync with the choppy waves off Cape May Point, witnesses told cops.

The chaperones warned the kids to stop the dangerous game, but they continued as soon as the adults turned their backs, the witnesses said.

Seconds later, Nicholas Johs tumbled over the 44-inch-high railing and into the 49-degree water - an area known as the rips, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Someone tossed him a life preserver and another passenger, Ralph Genovese, 19, jumped in to try to rescue him, but the boy soon went under.

Authorities searched unsuccessfully for Nicholas' body yesterday. A piece of a black T-shirt that may have belonged to him was found on the boat's propeller.

The search was to continue today.

Parents and teens from scout Troop 26 met with scout leaders at Castleton Hill Moravian Church to hear what happened and struggled to cope with grief.

"It's a very somber mood," said Sandy Karles, 53, whose two boys are in the troop. "We need to go through the journey of healing."

Despite the accident, parents said they wouldn't hesitate to entrust their children with troop leaders.

The Rev. Andy Meckstroth said the entire community would have to come together to grieve over the tragic accident.

"It's only the first step," said Meckstroth, 46. "It's going to be a long process for the kids and the leaders."

One scout buddy said the troop wouldn't be the same without Nicholas.

"He was always smiling," said the boy, who gave his name as Matthew. "He kept us out of trouble on trips."

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