Life jackets galore support safety
Boaters Jackey and Glenn Bray had more than a solid reason for turning out at Saturday's life jacket "Wear It" show of solidarity at Rose Marina.
"We had a situation with a pre-teen boy who jumped in the water and got caught by the current," said Jackey Bray. "He wasn't wearing a life jacket. We pulled him out, but he was very frightened. Now a he's a teenager, and he knows about safety."
The Brays were among 125 people who turned out for local participation in a world record attempt to have as many people wearing jackets at one time. It was organized by the Marco Island Sail & Power Squadron, and coincided with National Safe Boating Week.
Among official organizations at the local gathering were representatives of the island's US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 9-5, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Marco Island Fire Rescue and Police departments, and the Marco Island Sport Fishing Clubs.
Some, like occasional Marco resident (from Minnesota), Michael O'Neil came because of liking the idea of participating in a community get-together. Others, like Cathy Bressan of the sport fishing club, said she heard about the record attempt from the power squadron and wanted to lend her support.
Boater "Bamboo" Bob Warren said the morning was also a way of picking up safety information and indeed reaffirming the need for life jackets.
Flotilla Commander of the local Coast Guard Auxiliary, Keith Wohltman, praised the organizational efforts of the sail and power squadron and the "tremendous" amount of paper work involved.
"They did an awful lot of work," Wohltman said. He added that details on the record attempt would likely be made public later this week after attendance numbers had been coordinated.
See an online gallery on this site, and also a spread of photos in the May 21 issue of the Marco Island Sun Times.