Thursday, February 19, 2009

Don Girvan - When the Knock Came He Was Ready - Shands Bridge Accident - Semper Paratus

When I was in the Coast Guard our motto (the Coast Guard motto) was Semper Paratus. It is latin for Always Prepared or Always Ready. We found in the Coast Guard that preparation often makes the difference when minutes and seconds count. On February 18, 2009 it did. This is not a story about the Coast Guard it is a story about some public servants and an ordinary citizen who was ready. Don Girvan was working in his home office when he heard a heavy pounding on his front door. It was two Clay County Sheriff's deputies. There had been an accident near the Shands Bridge near his home. People needed help. He volunteered his boat and he and the deputies motored to the site of the accident to render aid. This is the story as reported by the St.Augustine Record. Mr. Girvan had just serviced his boat the week before. He was ready. He guided his boat to two floating victims. They pulled a woman from the water and Girvan reported "I don't think she would have lasted five minutes longer". That's how stories end when people think fast and are prepared. We all should be grateful for people like Don Girvan and our deputies who always stand ready. Semper Paratus gang. Dwayne Clark

Victims of boat accident under Shands Bridge ID'd - Benjamin F. Heyward

A subcontractor who died when his safety boat capsized under the Shands Bridge Wednesday has been identified as Benjamin F. Heyward, 61, of Jacksonville. A co-worker who suffered minor injuries in the accident has been identified as Lakia L. Kiser, 33, of Jacksonville. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the 11:30 a.m. accident on the St. Johns River at the border of Clay and St. Johns counties, said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Heyward and Kiser were in an 18-foot Capecraft monitoring an inspection being done by a Florida Department of Transportation crew hanging from baskets under the bridge. The boat began to take on water and capsized, sending the pair into the river. Someone from the work crew tossed life vests into the river and Kiser was able to grab one. A man on the crew jumped into the river and grabbed Heyward, who was unconscious. Another person on the work crew deployed a life raft and a third crewman jumped into the raft and pulled Kiser to safety. Heyward was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the FWC report. The subcontractors worked for Acme Barricades, Parker said.

See this also.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2 Arizona men killed, 4 saved after Virginia boat accident

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Police say the two people killed in a Chesapeake Bay boating accident today have been identified as Arizona residents. Virginia Beach police spokesman Adam Bernstein says 89-year-old Ned Rokey and 69-year-old Allen Dedrick died after Rokey's 18-foot-aluminum boat capsized in cold, choppy water off Virginia Beach.