Boater Safety Awareness Week Celebration

Mike Wright, Special to The Log

Community members provide much needed support and security to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. One local family began staying at the House when their son suffered an horrific life threatening injury while snorkeling in the nearby Choctawhatchee River.

As Drew and his dad enjoyed the water, a large boat came up the river at a very high speed. The boat hit Drew and narrowly missed Dad, who raced for his son and scooped him out of the water. Drew had to be flown to Sacred Heart where he immediately went into surgery. Drew’s injuries included a fractured femur, ruptured abdomen, and ruptured kidneys. He was put into a medically induced coma, on dialysis to help his kidneys function, and had a rod placed through his femur to help it heal correctly. As you can tell by his hospital photo, Drew did not lose his sense of humor. Dad said that he felt as though he had found sanctuary when he walked through the doors of the House. During the two months of their stay, he felt the same thing that most of our families feel: a safe haven, a refuge, a home away from home.  And, now after extensive surgeries and physical therapy, Drew is doing just fine. 

The 2015 Boat Safety Awareness Week is May 16-22. Drew and his family will be on hand at 11 a.m. May 16 on the docks behind AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar in Destin. The family will be greeted by area emergency response personnel, Coast Guard, Marine Patrol and volunteers to promote boater safety awareness and celebrate Drew’s successful recovery and return to area waterways.

Miss Destin and volunteers from the Big Mac Classic Fishing Tournament team will present Drew with an honorary recognition as the official 2015 Ambassador of Boating Safety Awareness. AJ’s staff and management will host the family and friends for lunch and a dolphin cruise.  Come by to celebrate our local heroes and water safety specialists as well as Drew and his family, too. There is also a vintage car and motorcycle Family Fun Poker Run event scheduled the following day, Sunday.

If you are interested in more information, please contact Mike Wright 850-259-6819.