ST. PETERSBURG - Action News brought you the story of a mother who lost her only child to a tragic boating accident. We helped relay her message for change and now lawmakers are listening.
Doreen Boese has lost 30 pounds. She barely sleeps or eats, but finally after six months, she can sometimes smile.
"It was overwhelming and I am excited about it," said Boese.
The prospect of a new law in her daughter Deviny's name keeps her going.
"If it saves lives I think people should support it. I think it is a good idea," she said.
Weeks after Deviny died, Doreen met with Action News and asked to help spread her mission. She wanted to make the waterways safer for children.
When Deviny was 15 years old, she was being pulled on an inflatable raft behind a boat. The driver was also only 15.
When Action News looked into it, we found Florida has no age restrictions on driving a boat.
Action News helped get the word out on a petition started by Rock Solid and lawmakers listened.
"It makes me feel really good," said Boese. "I can't thank everyone enough. It's what keeps me going."
Representative Kathleen Peters filed a bill-saying in part, "We must ensure that we take very step possible to protect our children...It is my hope that establishing this law will prevent another tragedy."
Peters told Action News she's optimistic Deviny's Law will pass and be in place as early as October.
Peters said there is no real cost to tax payers because the law is not asking for any additional licenses. It will merely require anyone under the age of 18 to have an adult on board if they are towing another person.
"It just breaks my heart to hear that happening to any child," said Joanne McRay referring to Deviny.
Joanne and her husband Don McRay are avid boaters and parents.
They sympathize with Boese, but feel the answer may be in safety courses and not necessarily age restrictions.
"Education is what I feel is the answer," said Don McCray.
Currently in Florida, those born on or after January 1, 1988 are required to take boating safety classes.
The McRay's think there should be even more restrictions.
"I am surprised there is not a law now that they have to have some type of boating school," said Joanne McRay.
Boese said that might be next. But this is the first step. She's confident this bill will pass and keep her daughter's memory alive.
"Strength is in numbers. And, I have the numbers behind me," said Boese.
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