Island Vibes December 2023

commitment. This gift is a powerful act of kindness that should inspire us to take action and safeguard our community on all levels and at all times. The installation of this life ring marks a pivotal step towards ensuring that our city dock becomes a safer haven for all. As we do so, we carry the memory of Lopez in our hearts — a poignant reminder of our collective duty to protect and nurture our community. In the name of Lopez, Redmond and all first responders that protect and put our community’s safety in front of theirs, we unite in the spirit of benevolence. Together, we can make a profound impact on the lives of those we cherish. Let this life ring stand as a symbol of our dedication to the well-being and safety of our beloved community. symbolizes not only love and compassion but also serves as a tribute to our Isle of Palms firefighters and our dedicated police officers who face such heartbreaking situations daily, risking their lives for our safety. The life ring stands as a powerful symbol of hope and security — a declaration that our community looks out for one another. It signifies that we refuse to remain passive when our fellow residents and visitors are at risk. It is a testament to the idea that one person, like young Redmond, can ignite change through compassion and dedication, and that change can ripple through our community to save lives. Let us remember Lopez and others who have suffered due to the absence of safety measures at our docks nationwide. Their stories should be our driving force, reminding us that our community thrives on kindness and ateo Lopez, 22, a young father of two, tragically lost his life on Oct. 5, 2022, just 10 feet from a dock on Lake Norman, North Carolina, reported by Cornellius Today. Witnessed by a crowd, Lopez’s struggle was agonizingly visible, but the absence of proper rescue equipment and bystanders who couldn’t swim left them feeling powerless. Among those witnesses was 13-yearold Cade Redmond, who struggled to understand how a life could be lost amidst a crowd of people. The need for immediate, life-saving solutions weighed heavily on his young shoulders. Redmond embarked on a mission, the “Devoted Float” campaign, to raise awareness and resources for life-saving devices at our docksides. This grassroots movement swiftly garnered support from various or7 OPINION Island democracy Hello Isle of Palms community, neighbors and friends! Now that the election is over and the results have been officially confirmed and certified, I wanted to reach out and thank you for the opportunity to serve on the IOP City Council for the past four years. I have been honored to represent you as best I can on island issues, and I leave the council with no regrets for the positions I’ve taken, on your behalf, over the past four years. I would also like to thank the many supporters that provided encouragement to me during the campaign and actively supported Letters to the Editor to seeing you around the island at our events, public functions, the beach and the excellent restaurants and venues that abound here on the Isle of Palms. Respectfully, Rusty Streetman Isle of Palms Life ring donation inflates water safety concerns following drowning By Julie Nestler GOT A COMMENT? Island Vibes DISCLAIMER Island Vibes. me for re-election. I’m obviously disappointed I wasn’t re-elected to a second term, but I definitely respect the outcome. The voters spoke with their ballots! To that end, I also want to congratulate the “new council” that will be sworn in soon, and I assure you I will be supportive of your efforts to govern wisely for the benefit of our wonderful island and its residents and stakeholders. My sincere congratulations to Elizabeth Campsen and Ashley Carroll on earning a council seat, and the same sincere congratulations to Jimmy Ward and Scott Pierce on your re-election to council. And a big thank you to Brian Duffy, Tim Ahmuty and Kevin Popson for your willingness to step up, run for council and publicly serve the IOP community. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all the family and friends, of all the candidates, for their support. Campaigning can be tough and stressful for them as well. I love the Isle of Palms, having spent almost 40 years here and I will continue to be a strong advocate for further improvement of this beautiful slice of paradise we are all privileged to live on. My pledge is to be a positive voice as a citizen resident, and I won’t hesitate to openly express my opinions on important island issues. However, you can count on me to be respectful of all others in doing so. Again, thank you for the honor and opportunity to serve you in our representative democracy over the past four years, and I’m looking forward Isle of Palms Fire Department personnel promote water safety with a life ring newly donated from the Nestler family. ganizations, including the Qualified Captain, West Marine, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and the U.S. Coast Guard. They recognized the urgency of spreading this life-saving message nationally. Our beloved Isle of Palms city dock, a place of joy and relaxation for residents and visitors, shockingly lacked a fundamental safety feature — a life ring. Astonishingly, one in seven unintentional deaths result from drowning, leading to approximately 4,000 fatalities each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The absence of a life ring raises a haunting question: Could Mateo Lopez still be with his family today if a life ring had been there that fateful day? In the spirit of love for our island and the safety of our community, our family has stepped forward and donated a life ring for our city dock. This gift M Photo Provided