Local family turns deadly boating accident into life-saving charity

News 12 First at Five / Monday, May 20, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- With lake levels higher than they've been in years and summer temperatures heading our way, you may be itching to get out on the water.

But, before you do, Sandie Craig wants you to hear her husband's story, proving why safety should always be first.

It's been two and a half years since her husband left for a fishing trip and never returned.

She remembers every detail of that day, saying, "I talked to him about 12:30, and he said he couldn't get over to where he normally fishes because the water was so bad and choppy."

Crews searched Lake Thurmond for an entire month before his body surfaced. His wife has been handling his boating accident the best way she knows how.

"One day at a time. I mean, there's not a day, a moment, a second that goes by that I don't think about him."

With summer knocking on the door, a lot of folks are preparing to get out on the boat. Craig says there's nothing wrong with that, but she wants to make sure everyone makes the trip back home.

"When I was at Walmart the other week, I was checking out, and a guy came up behind me. He had some oil for the boat and a life jacket, and I turned around and told him, you don't know how important that is," Craig said.

She says her husband, Scotty, wasn't wearing a life jacket when he went missing, and there was also a lake wind advisory that day.

"Take lake wind advisories serious. It's not a joke. It's there for a reason," she said.

Craig has taken her husband's story a step further, making sure others don't meet the same fate. She and Scotty's family have been collecting life jackets.

"We're donating them to the lake, to the welcome center," she said.

She says she hopes as you get ready to head out on the water this summer that you'll remember her husband's story.

"Take the lake serious. It's a privilege. It's nothing to play with," Craig said.

If you'd like to donate a life vest to the cause, you can contact Sandie Craig at SandieCraig72@yahoo.com.

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