Sarasota police to work with Coast Guard for vessel inspections to help keep boaters safe

Sarasota Police will be working with the United States Coast Guard Flotilla 84 for an Interagency Boating Safety Inspection Day on Saturday, May 20.      

"We want them to be lawful, but we want them to be safe out here on the waterways," said Officer Michael Skinner with the Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol. 

The free vessel inspections will help boaters receive their 2023 vessel inspection sticker if boaters are in compliance. 

File: Sarasota boats

Sarasota Police and the United States Coast Guard Flotilla 84 are working together for an Interagency Boating Safety Inspection Day.

"I think people are more apt to get into compliance with education. We aren’t out here definitely to ruin anybody’s day especially with Memorial Day coming up. It might seem like it’s a waste of time in the beginning, and you’re just trying to get your boat out, but once you take care of that, let the Flotilla go over your stuff. You can have peace of mind out there and enjoy your day," explained Officer Ron Dixon with the Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol.

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For Greg and Mindy Isaacs, boating safety has taken on a new meaning. 

"He was just always so happy and lived life to the fullest," said Mindy Isaacs. 

Two and a half years ago, their 10-year-old son Ethan was killed during sailing practice after being hit by a motorboat. 

The operator fell off the boat and was not wearing an emergency engine cutoff switch. 

File: emergency engine cutoff switch

An emergency engine cutoff switch should be worn when operating a boat.

They launched The Ethan Isaacs Memorial Fund to provide boat safety, education and training in hopes of preventing future tragedies. 

"He would want other kids and families to live life to the fullest and have fun and be out on the water on the boat and have a great day," shared his mom. 

Working with Sarasota Police, the Isaacs will hand out life jackets and other equipment during the safety inspection. 

"It’s very difficult to hear about other tragedies on the water. Wearing the engine cut off switch, wearing your life jacket, following all the safety procedures is just paramount in keeping yourself and your family safe, and it impacts a lot of people around you if you’re not," said Greg Isaacs.

File: The Ethan Isaacs Memorial Fund

The Ethan Isaacs Memorial Fund provides boat safety, education and training.

The Isaacs will continue growing the fund and spreading their message. 

They hope to save lives, as they honor their son. 

"We don’t want a tragedy to just be a tragedy. We want to try and prevent something from happening again," shared Mindy Isaacs. 

The Boating Safety Inspection Day will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., at Centennial Park, 1059 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (also known as the 10th Street Boat Ramp).

For more information on the Ethan Isaacs Memorial Fund click here

To learn more about Ethan’s story click here