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Transcript for A Message From PFBC

April Allen, Son Involved in Fatal Boating Accident: We're 10 years past, and my son, Brandon, still wrestles with survivor's guilt.

Who would have ever thought something like this could happen on such a small boat when we were just going fishing? My son, Brandon, along with my son, Kyle, came down to our cabin along the Susquehanna River with several other friends just to have a good time.

Barry Allen, Brandon and Kyle's Father: I had a Jon boat, but the motor wasn't working. So, there was no motor there. It was just a boat.

April Allen: Without thinking, they chose to attach another motor that was three times the limit rated for that boat. As they pulled away, they made one of the most critical errors that they could have made. They forgot the life jackets.

Kyle Allen, Brandon's Twin Brother: We were in another boat behind them, and we got a little bit down. And it was a little wavy out, so we took the boat to shore. And right when we got to shore down here, my phone was ringing. So, I answered it, and it's my brother on the other end, freaking out. The boat tipped. He can't find John and Cody, this and that. And I said, "Hey, stop messing around; that's not funny." He's like, "No, I'm serious."

April Allen: My son was the only survivor that day. Almost a year later, my son would be charged with two counts of homicide by watercraft.

Mark Sweppenheiser, PFBC Waterways Conservation Officer: We investigate boating accidents so that we can fully understand what happened, families can get closure, that we can build what we learned from the accident into our education programs, and to further boating safety.

April Allen: I didn't realize what will be the statements later; I didn't realize putting on that heavier motor was going to make that much of a difference—the weight capacity of the boat and how far we had exceeded it. I didn't realize the weather was going to change that quickly.

I think what people forget is how many other victims there are when something like this happens.

Barry Allen: Two boys lost their lives because they didn't have life jackets. That affected hundreds of people.

Mark Sweppenheiser: Boating incidents are tragic. It's tragic for the community. It's tragic for the first responders. It's tragic for law enforcement—because what we're looking for is a successful day on the water.

Kyle Allen: So, even if you're an experienced swimmer, if you think nothing's going to happen, you still need to wear your life vest. Anything can happen, and there's no going back.

On screen: Learn more about Boating Safety at

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