Edward sterling can't forget answering that phone call a father never wants to get.
“It was 630 at night when I received the phone call at home that my son had fallen overboard and had not come up.” Father Edward Sterling said.
Sterling says his son was a good swimmer, so he knew something was wrong.
“I left my house immediately and left my house as fast as I could.” Sterling said.
That's when he learned about the accident that killed his son.
“They were pulling an inner tube and my son was the spotter sitting on the front of the boat. The steering cable had broken and the boat had whipped and he fell over.” Sterling said.
The Sterling’s are still mourning the loss of Mike.
But in their grieving, they want to reach out to other boaters.
Sterling says putting on a life vest is one of the most important things you can do.
“Even though they are uncomfortable and I know they are because I had to wear them myself, they will keep you from going under and it could save a life.” Sterling said.
“It’s something a lot of people fail to use, but they can save your life if you get into a situation.” Boyd’s Marine general manager Matt Nall said.
It’s also a good idea to get your boat inspected before you head out.
“If you put it away and bring it back out in the spring, it’s not a bad idea to go back through that boat before you go back into the water. Because you want to make sure that steering system and the features on that boat are working properly.” Nall said.
All of these are simple tasks that could end up saving a life.
“Don’t drive irresponsibly. You never know what’s going to happen, don’t turn your good memory into a memory like this. This was my son.” Sterling said.
Another problem, especially around a holiday is drinking and boating.
Police say this is one of the easiest problems to avoid, choose a designated driver, just like when you're on the roads.