Seven people survived an ordeal at sea, but a man was unable to keep his 79-year-old mother above water.
The following story appeared in the Miami Herald and struck me as one that needed to be shared. We want to continue to emphasize the inherent dangers of boating and the simply safety procedures that should be followed to prevent tragedy.
A son tried to keep his 79-year-old mother alive by holding her frail body out of the rough ocean waters. A mother kept her 3-year-old daughter from drowning by sitting her on a floating cooler for nearly a day.
Three men who did not know how to swim — and had no life vests — held on for dear life to the side of the capsized boat.
Why did three men who didn’t know how to swim have no life jackets on and HELLO, they all should have stayed with the boat!
The drama played out over the weekend when a Hialeah family’s fishing trip off the Florida Keys turned tragic with the death of the elderly woman, who drowned despite her son’s efforts. Those who survived the ordeal were rescued on Sunday after drifting 20 hours at sea.
Although it is not reported, my guess is that the woman who drowned didn’t have on a life jacket either or why would her son have to hold her up?
Rough seas, bad weather, lack of enough personal flotation devices and number of passengers — eight — loaded onto a 22-foot pleasure craft will be factors in the probe of the accident off Long Key on Saturday, said Robert Dube, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the agency investigating the fatal accident.
Among the survivors was a 3-year-old girl, who drifted — from Saturday at noon to Sunday morning — along with her mother and two other women. All four females wore personal floatation devices and were found four miles from the boat’s wreckage.
Had they stayed with the boat they all would have been rescued at the same time. The one thing they did get right is that they followed Florida Law which requires children 6 or under on a boat 26 feet or less to wear a life jacket if the boat is moving. If the craft is anchored or docked, they don’t have to wear one.
The boat was noticed by a local Fishing Captain who called 911. For more information on what to do if you find yourself in a capsize situation visit our BasicBoatingCourse.