South Fla. mother fights for tougher boating laws

Isabel Castellanos says Friday's crash reminds her that her work isn't done


MIAMI – A South Florida mother continues to fight for tougher boating laws after her son was killed seven years ago in a boating accident off Elliot Key.

The mother of 23-year-old Osmany Castellanos says Friday night's crash that killed four people off Dinner Key Marina served as a reminder that her work is far from over.

"There are not enough laws out there," says Isabel Castellanos. "And nobody is educated. There is no such thing as mandatory safety courses. Even though I've tried to change it, it did not happen the way I wanted it."

On weekends, Castellanos visits marinas across South Florida to educate boaters, and hands out pamphlets to raise awareness about the dangers that come with being at sea.

She says she believes alcohol played a role in the Fourth of July crash, as it did in her son's accident.

State officers say alcohol on boats is no secret, and while it's illegal to operate a vessel drunk, it's difficult to prosecute.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say as long as the boat's captain isn't slurring his speech or stumbling and not following directions, they have no authority to perform sobriety tests.