Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 75 of 83

76 | Andrew Harris was an inspirational young man who was killed at age 26 when he was struck by a boat while snorkeling on June 8, 2014. Loved by many and admired for his determination, Andrew had recently begun a career in the insurance business and had found early success building an agency. As a youngster, Andrew was always a gifted athlete. In high school he had the distinction of being named to the Palm Beach Post's All Area team in both golf and basketball on the same day. And he was voted MVP of the Jupiter High School basketball team his senior year. Raised on the water in the Jupiter area, he loved to fish, snorkel, scuba dive and just be out on the ocean. When he thought about college, he decided to apply to only one: Florida State University, a school he loved dearly. But, his early attempts to get in were denied. Andrew continued to pursue his dream and was eventually accepted to FSU where he ended up graduated with honors. On that fateful day in 2014, he was snorkeling with a girlfriend in the Jupiter Inlet when strong currents swept her away. As she struggled against the fast moving tide, Andrew took action and began pulling her to safety. As he was towing her back, a boat came too close. Andrew shoved her away from the boat and got pushed backwards and under water. The girl was grazed by the hull but Harris took a direct hit. An onlooker from another boat recovered Andrew from the bottom of the inlet. In a sad twist of irony, Andrew's father reveals that the day before Andrew was killed was one of the most joyous for their family. "June 7, 2014, was the happiest day that Andrew and Ryan, our younger son, spent together," he said. "It was highlighted by Ryan being drafted and getting a nice bonus from the Boston Red Sox. The next day was our saddest." Since that dreadful event, Andrew's mother and father and many of their friends have worked together to honor his memory by building reefs for snorkeling, diving and fishing. The Andrew "Red" Harris Foundation has made it their mission to enhance the waters he loved to help ensure the long-term health of the oceans and to assure that he will not be forgotten. They've held golf and tennis tournaments and many other events to raise money to build reefs. The foundation also sells its own shirts through their website with a beautiful split view image of a reef and the Jupiter Lighthouse. Understandably, Andrew's mom and dad, Scott and Martha Harris, are the driving force behind the foundation. They were determined to do something in Andrew's memory but they weren't sure where to begin. "We started out with college scholarships," Scott said, "but we didn't get much interest from local schools. It's a very crowded space. Then we started to think about Andrew's hobbies like golf, fishing and diving and decided that artificial reefs would be perfect! "Andrew loved fishing and diving and we thought, 'how hard could building artificial reefs be'." Scott says with a laugh. If getting the foundation cranked up was difficult, the Harris's never let it show. They began the organization in August, just two months after the accident, and by November they had formed a viable plan to build and deploy hand-made, custom concrete modules. Nine months later, they sunk 40 Left: Deploying the foundation reefs took assistance and donations from local companies and money from multiple fundraising events. Right: Custom made concrete reef modules on their way to be loaded onto the boat.

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