Skip to main content

Summer fun: delivering mail from moving vessel

Landing a summer job — any job — is a rite of summer for many teens.

Capt. Neill Frame, 72, navigates the 75-foot wooden tour boat Walworth II as a mail delivery boat on Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva and is offering a job that has local teens jumping at the competition.

On Wednesday, nine high school and college-age applicants tried out to be one of this year's mail jumpers. The jumpers crew the Walworth II and deliver the mail and newspapers from June 15 to Sept. 15 to up to 70 lake house residents on Lake Geneva.

What makes this mail route unique is not simply that the mail is delivered by boat, but that the boat doesn't stop moving.

Capt. Frame navigates the more than 60-ton boat close enough to the piers for the mail jumper to leap from the moving boat to the stationary pier. The jumper then has to run to the mailbox, drop off and pick up the mail and then run and leap the 3 to 4 feet back onto the moving boat. The boat keeps moving for safety, not for an extra challenge, Frame told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"Slowing down is sometimes a fatal mistake," he warns his applicants. "You all of the sudden can't jump as far as you thought you could."

Click here for the full report.