The Gadsden County Sheriff Office (GCSO) and Gadsden County community remembered 10-year-old John ‘Skylar’ Brogdon on Sept. 14 by unveiling a new search and rescue boat.
Skylar was found dead after a boat collision at Lake Talquin in Quincy, Fla., in Nov. 2017. The GCSO and other officials searched for his body for days after the accident.
Gadsden County Sheriff, Morris Young said, “When it comes to tragedies on the water, GCSO is very cripple with a response because of the lack of resources, but all that has changed.”
Sheriff Young mentioned that he was talking to Paul Hoppes, the owner of Seminole Marine about Skylar’s death when Hoppes offered to donate a boat to GCSO. This allowed GCSO to build a search and rescue boat dedicated to Skylar and his family.
GCSO mentioned their gratitude to Hoppes because the boat would’ve cost from $70,000 to $80,000 to build.
The boat was built from the ground up, and the equipment used on the boat was donated by law enforcement vendors such as Dana Safety Supply and private citizens.
The boat is equipped with emergency lights and sirens. The GCSO trademark and the words, “In Memory of Skylar,” are etched on the boat.
The GCSO hopes the new boat will decrease future accidents in Gadsden Counties surrounding waters.
Skylar’s family greatly appreciated the GCSO’s commitment to honoring Skylar.
Michele Tipper, Skylar’s aunt, felt at peace to see the people that searched to recover her nephew at the boat unveiling. She expressed her gratitude to those people, and she also expressed how much she misses her nephew.
Skylar’s uncle, John Tipper said, “I’m thankful the sheriff's department now has a boat to respond to accidents much quicker.”
The GCSO presented the family with a dedication award which recognized the search and rescue boat.
Skylar’s mother, Krystal Brogdon said, “This is a real blessing for us, for them to dedicate this to our baby.”
The GCSO also announced that a boat and rescue team is now in effect to avoid any other tragedies on the water.
The rest of the day consisted of life jacket donations, boat safety tips and instructions, music, food and overall celebration.