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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jul 02, 2017

Boating Safety Awareness

The David P. Civile Foundation for Boating Safety Awareness is dedicated to promoting awareness of boating safety, the importance and proper use of personal floatation devices, and knowledge of environmental factors such as wind, air, and water temperatures. Knowledge through education can save lives. They seek to inform all boaters, but with a targeted emphasis on novice boaters using non-motorized recreational crafts, such as kayaks and canoes.

David Civile’s family established the foundation in 2011, following the tragic kayak accident of their 26-year-old son on November 17, 2010 in the Shrewsbury River. David had purchased his kayak three weeks before and had a false sense of security, being athletic, having a floatation seat cushion onboard, and paddling in a river as opposed to the ocean. That morning, he purchased waterproof pants and called his mom to say he was going out for an hour. The air temperature was 65, unseasonably warm and sunny, and he launched in ankle-deep water. He was unaware of the dangers of the cold water temperatures, currents, and winds. The family received the heartbreaking news two years later that their son’s remains were found. People don’t realize the possible dangers associated with recreational boating.

Over the past years, the foundation has been successful at achieving many goals. They’ve distributed their Paddle Safety Rules and other important information provided by the Coast Guard, American Canoe Association, and National Safe Boating Council at various street fairs, paddle sport expos, marinas, schools, libraries, recreation centers, National Night Out, and retail sporting goods stores. David’s story has been published in boating magazines, online publications, and local newspapers, as well as local cable television. The foundation is a member of the National Safe Boating Council.

In 2013, after meeting with the Monmouth Park System and New Jersey Senator Jennifer Beck, boat safety signs were posted at 13 launch sites throughout the county. Ocean County Parks has also posted signage at several launch sites. Since then, the foundation’s safety sign has been posted in Little Silver, Long Branch, Rumson, Point Pleasant, Fair Haven, Red Bank, Oceanport, Lavallette, Manasquan, Keyport, and Atlantic Highlands at pertinent locations determined by the town mayors. The foundation was honored to be involved in the Boat US Life Jacket Loaner Program at the Atlantic Highlands Harbor.

The foundation has presented programs with the Coast Guard Auxiliary for schools and scouts, and partnered with local retail stores to promote safety, encouraging them to ask the consumer purchasing a kayak pertinent questions such as whether they have the appropriate gear, safety kit, knowledge of waters where they are paddling, and to show the Coast Guard Cold Water Boot Camp 10-minute DVD in stores. The foundation has also donated PFDs and safety kits to first-time kayak consumers, like David.

The family’s hope is that David’s Foundation will possibly spare another family from their devastating loss. Please visit www.thedavidpcivilefoundation.org for more information.