A View from Here

Bill's Sisson's weekly Trade Only blog

FWC suggests life jackets as a holiday gift

Call me a sentimental fool, if you will, but I’ve been feeling the hurt of a lot of people in need this holiday season. I’ve even cried at some of the stories I’ve been listening to on the radio.
So it’s not surprising that a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tugged at my heart strings.

As I read the FWC’s mantra of the importance of life jackets, I was reminded me of the most precious gift of all: the gift of life.

Here’s one compelling story of why the FWC recommends the gift of a life jacket this holiday season. 

Gay Kite’s son, John, lost his life in a boating accident during the holiday season three years ago. He and a friend, Allan Morone, died on Dec. 19, 2004 on Half Moon Lake near Ocala.  Neither of the men wore a life jacket.

“Neither I, nor anyone else, would have expected John or Allan to drown,” Kite said. “They were in their early twenties, healthy and good swimmers.  I can’t help but believe they would both be with us if they had been wearing life jackets.” 

Three years after her son’s death, Kite educates others on the importance of wearing life jackets. She doesn’t want others to experience what she has been through.

Gay, I hope your message reaches lots of people.

Lois Caliri


One comment on “FWC suggests life jackets as a holiday gift

  1. Gordy McKelvey

    Ignorance can not be legislated away. Education and TOUGH enforcement of safety laws is the only proven way of changing peoples attitudes about boating safety. Boat owners need to realize that they are the ones ultimately resposible for their actions and of their guests.

    In my opinion safety education starts at the dealerships. Too long have dealers understated the importatance of safety on the water. First time boaters are turned loose with too much horsepower and not enough information for way too may years. The waterways are crowded with people that don’t have a clue as to what their individual responsiblity is, in terms of safety for their guests, their equipment or the other boaters on the water with them. Telling a new customer as they walk out the door, “to be careful and have fun” just doesn’t cut it any more.

    I’m on the water 2 – 3 days a week, eight months a year. Every day I see, people driving their boats standing up, young children dangling their legs over the bow of pontoon boats while underway, children without lifejackets, overloaded boats, diving into the water head first and way, way too much alcohol being consumed, all in plain sight of law enforcement and only rarely do I see any action taken by the officers.

    An extra thirty minutes discussing saftey issues with the dealr, a weekend attending a boating safety class and even a ticket and a hefty fine is a small price to pay in time and money if it prevents a family member or friend from seriosly injuring themselves or getting killed. The dying part really puts a damper on a day of boating.

    Come on folks, we are smarter than this!

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