A holiday celebration turns tragic for a California family when a U.S. Coast Guard vessel crashes into their boat killing their eight year old son.
In a sad twist of irony the U.S. Coast Guard not only failed to protect the public in this instance but actually placed them in the direct path of harm’s way. The timing of this accident is especially ironic since the U.S. Coast Guard is currently attempting to force tow boat operators in the Boundary Waters to obtain a Captain’s License in order to protect the public.
I’m not sure what makes this accident hit so close to home but I find it more than disturbing. Perhaps it’s because earlier this month my family cruised the San DiegoHarbor on a tour boat. Much to my husband’s amusement I made sure the kids knew what to do in case of an accident. I told them to get to the deck of the boat, grab a life vest from underneath the bench, put the life vest on or grab the red floating ring attached to the wall. I instructed them to not worry about where I was but to stick together if they found themselves in the water and to grab anything that was floating to help them keep afloat. Mike told me I was being overly dramatic but I’m not convinced.
While on a tour of the San DiegoHarbor we saw air craft carriers, barges, fishing boats and a constant wake from the numerous boats. I even noted it in my Facebook post on the 2nd of December, “Took a boat ride in the San DiegoHarbor yesterday, now there’s a place a Captain’s license is necessary.”
Unfortunately for Anthony Cole DeWeese of Rancho Penasquitos a Coast Guard License wasn’t enough to protect him. More irony abounds in the fact Anthony was an 8-year old hockey player just like my son Josh. According to an online article his family and friends remembered Anthony as a spirited and happy-go-lucky boy. Just like my son Josh only Anthony will never be 9 because of the very people whose job was to protect Anthony, the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Christmas Boat Parade in the San DiegoBay was an accident free 38 year old tradition until the Coast Guard destroyed it along with the life of Anthony Cole DeWeese. This Christmas won’t be the same for his family and friends or the many folks who witnessed the terrible accident.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Northeastern Minnesota is nothing like the busy San DiegoHarbor where the accident occurred. There has never been a tow boat fatality or serious accident on SaganagaLake involving a tow boat. The wilderness waters that are ice covered for a good part of the year only allow motors up to 25 horsepower and the number of watercraft are limited by the USFS. For the safety of our public at the end of the Gunflint Trail I hope the Coast Guard will focus on their own people and stay away. We want our safety record and our public protected.