Boat Safety Educational Program
The Boating Safety Educational Program is a program that teaches kids about being safe out on the water. We go from school to school, mostly at schools with beaches or water nearby, and speak to kids of all ages about boating safety. Our organization also teaches night classes in various locations to adults who want to start boating, and want to be informed on how to sail safely and efficiently. In addition, we collect money to donate to victims of boating accidents. As our founder once thought while getting drowned by a wave,”Such an intense force was pushing me;it didn’t seem like it could be water-soft, gentle water-that was doing this” (208). This is why we must inform people about the perils that water and boating could bring, so they will be ready if this ever happens to them.
Our founder’s name is Sophie. Her parents died from drowning in a wave with Sophie on the boat when she was a young girl. After that, Sophie went from foster home to foster home, but she couldn’t find a healthy environment of people that would love her and let her into their lives. Finally, she found people who adopted her, and they had a family that accepted her. Her adoptive grandfather started writing her letters that welcomed her to the family and told her more about him. The death of Sophie’s real parents was so dramatic to her that she shut the fact that they ever existed out of her life, and told everyone that her adoptive parents were her real parents. When she was 13, Sophie started to have an obsession with the ocean. She said “...what I wanted to do was go on and on, across the sea, alone with the water and the wind and the birds, but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress...” (2). So she decided to sail across the ocean to England with her adoptive cousins and uncles. Sophie has a very passionate personality, so when she believes in something, she stands up for it and doesn’t let it go.
Our mission is to protect our boaters against all the dangers of boating. We want to help the victims of boating accidents and inform other people on how to stop boating accidents. It is our mission to stop boating accidents all together, and only than will our mission truly be fulfilled.
An Example of What We Do
Recently, the Miami News has been flooded with stories of disasters of small boats in the Gulf of Mexico. A lot of these have videos taken of them from a Coast guard helicopter, and in the videos you can see that the people on the boats were not wearing life vests, and didn’t have any with them. There are a lot of things that people can do to avoid this happening to them. For instance, most of these people were out in bad weather conditions, which could be unsafe, unless you had an experienced operator that knew what he was doing concerning the maintenance of the vessel. It is not safe to go very far out to sea on a small boat, unless you are a very experienced seamen, because small boats aren’t prepared for the very rough waves. Our founder had to figure this out herself, even though she was on a huge boat. Problems in boats can start out very small when you’re out at sea, but they can escalate quickly and eventually wind up in a helicopter having to rescue you. These small boat disasters are proof of the peril that boating without a lot of knowledge about it can bring you.
Why We Were Created
When Sophie was older, she decided to sail across the ocean with her adoptive family on their boat called The Wanderer, to England. While Sophie is on the boat, her and her adoptive family sail into rough waters. There was huge waves and roaring wind, and Sophie and her family didn’t know if they would make it or not. One day when Sophie and her adoptive cousin and uncle were on watch, a huge wave broke over Sophie. Luckily, she was wearing her harness, or else she would have been,”Underwater forever, twisting and turning, scrunched in a little ball” (209). After this, Sophie realized that that harness is what saved her life, and if she hadn’t been wearing it than she wouldn’t be alive today. This is the reason why Sophie decided to create this foundation, because she wanted to save other people’s lives from being ruined by sailing.
Sophie can still remember the day when her parents died. They had gone out sailing, and all the weather was nice, when the wind,”...was howling, howling, howling, and the boat was rolling, and it got cold, and your mother wrapped you in a blanket and put you in the dinghy...” (283). Than, a huge black wave came over Sophie and her parents, but her parents didn’t make it, and Sophie did. And then Sophie was,”... all alone...all by yourself, floating floating, floating...” (283). This day has haunted Sophie ever since, and she has tried to forget it and block it out of her life, but eventually she chose to remember and let it in. She still has dreams about the big black wall of water as it towered over her, and when she almost drowned in that wave on The Wanderer, it was her worst nightmare. But if these things had never happened, this program would never be created, and more people would suffer every day from boating accidents and disasters.
As an adult now, Sophie has realized how much boating safety has played a role in her life. Without it, she would have died on the way to see her adoptive grandfather, and never would have had closure about the death of her parents. The wave that almost drowned Sophie on The Wanderer reminded her of how water really wasn’t always as gentle as it sometimes could be, and she realized that she had to take caution when it came to water, especially sailing. Before the wave, Sophie loved the water, and liked to float and swim in it, and enjoyed sitting up on the bosun’s chair. But after it, Sophie still loved doing all of these things, but she was more cautious. If Sophie’s cousin, Cody, hadn’t reminded Sophie to put on her harness, she would have gone over the side of the boat when the wave crashed on her. Boat safety actually saved Sophie’s life, which is why she decided to create this program to help other people.
What You Can Do
While Sophie took a huge step in making less boating accidents happen, there is still a lot that you could do. If you work at a school near a beach town, you could call us to have us come and speak to your students. If you are a student that is going to hear us speak at your school soon, you could tell your friends and family about what you learned. Another step you could take to stop boating disasters is to donate to us. We are frequently looking for boating accident victims or survivors that need money after their accident, and we donate money that we collect to their families or to them, to help pay hospital bills or boat repair. If you are an adult and plan on going boating soon, you should sign up for a class, ours or someone else’s, to inform you on how to be safe out on the water. Also, you should do plenty of research before going out boating, because there is a lot to know about it, and you could never be too educated, if it means saving your life or someone else's.