Sunday, December 21, 2014
David Civile Foundation for Boating Safety Awareness
…Continuation from last post about David Civile who died in a Kayak accident in November 2010.
David’s parents, Joan and Richard Civile started a foundation for boating safety awareness in 2011 to honor his memory and to warn others of the dangers and spare another family from a tragic loss.
The foundation also promotes the importance and proper use of personal floatation devices and knowledge of environmental factors such as air and water temperatures. “Knowledge through education, says David’s mother, Joan Civile, can save lives.” “We seek to inform all boaters but with a targeted emphasis on novice boaters using non-motorized recreational crafts, such as Kayaks and canoes.”
By April 1 of last year, New Jersey officials posted safety boating signs at all its parks in Monmouth County. This is a result of David’s dedicated and loving family working with officials. The signs warn kayakers to consider their ability and weather conditions before embarking, to always wear a PFD, to carry a safety whistle, and to let others know of their boating plans.
While the Civile family funded a few signs and presented them to the town of Little Silver, NJ, in 2011, the year following David’s death, the county parks system funded the signs that are posted in their parks. David’s sister says they continue to work on getting out boating safety messages in all other counties in the state.
The kayak washed up that first night on a neighboring island. Family and friends searched for David for four days to no avail. It took two years for David’s remains to be found near where he launched his kayak. Once again the family was devastated.
Joan says her family is so proud of David, through the way he embraced life. “David has taught us many lessons: to live life to the fullest, treat others with respect and courtesy, make the best of any situation, pursue your passions, find humor in everything, live with integrity and honor and remember to be happy with yourself.”
They turned their unimaginable loss into something they hope all kayakers can benefit from. In particular they want retailers to focus more on safety, ask questions when a consumer buys a kayak, where they are planning to go, what river, ocean, lake? What time of year.? Encourage appropriate gear and necessary safety extras like a tether, a radio, and a light.
“We are in the process of partnering with local retailers like EMS to develop Kayak safety kits which will include these items. We have also contacted manufacturers to ask them why such kits are not marketed more often and to keep the prices down so as not to deter customers, and to have a video and/or require boaters watch the short clip before leaving the store. The foundation is also sponsoring assemblies in schools on boating safety that will cover in and off season water temperatures with emphasis on wearing a life jacket. They also hope to encourage retailers to promote the purchase of a dry suit and other essentials.
“The more knowledge boaters have, the better equipped they will be out in the water,” said David’s sister.
At the heart of the mission is a loving family who misses their son and brother. “We know David’s memory will continue in our hearts and live forever and hope our mission will possibly spare another family from our tragic loss,” said Joan.
I hope they have succeeded in their mission and wish them continued succeed in whatever they are able to do for others in David’s memory.