Teens trying out for mail-boat jumping position

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 21:55:06-04

LAKE GENEVA, WI (WISN/CNN) - Sound advice for most people is to avoid jumping on or off a moving boat.

But for a handful of teens in Wisconsin, it's the biggest part of their job description.

A mailboat jumper, Jessa Burling, said, "It seems to always draw people in. It's a really unique thing." 

Call it a leap of faith for teens looking to find their summertime sea legs, all while trying to stay dry. 

The teens are literally jumping at the chance to make special deliveries as mailboat jumpers, a Lake Geneva tradition more than a hundred years old.

"Actually started in 1916, and in those days it was a necessity," said Neill Frame, the mailboat captain. "This was a summer resort for the wealthy, but it was wilderness."

It may be a novelty today, but the dozen kids trying out for this summer's six coveted jumper spots remain laser focused as they deliver mail from a moving boat from pier to pier.

The auditions are a grueling test of speed, agility and confidence. Obviously not every dry run is a dry run.

The teens say the nautical nature of this kind of snail mail remains one the hottest summer jobs around.

Mail jumpers make deliveries to 75 homes every day during the summer.

The mail boat also offers tours for spectators who just want a front row seat to the action.

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