The BoatU.S. Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program is adding 34 new sites to its nationwide program that provides a simple way for parents to borrow a properly-sized children’s life jacket at launch ramps, marinas and waterfront businesses. (See complete list below.) A partnership with West Marine funded 19 of the sites.
Since its inception eight years ago, the program has saved the lives of at least three children. It is estimated that BoatU.S. life jackets are loaned out more than 50,000 times a year.
“We make it easy to keep kids safer while boating by bringing children’s life jackets right to the waterfront where boaters need them and they are absolutely free,” said Chris Edmonston, director of boating safety for the BoatU.S. Foundation. “Sometimes it gets pretty hectic preparing for a weekend of boating, and boat owners may forget about extra life jackets needed for young boating guests. Also, kids grow so quick that they may not fit last year’s life jacket. That’s where we step in by providing the right sized life jacket at over 350 sites across the country. Once the family is done enjoying the water, they simply return the jacket,” he continued.
The Foundation provides each new loaner site with a “kit” of 12 life jackets (a selection of infant, child, or youth jacket sizes), protective storage bin, sign-out sheets and program signage, allowing hundreds of children all summer long to safely enjoy an afternoon, day or weekend on a boat with their families and friends.
The BoatU.S Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization primarily funded by the voluntary contributions of 600,000 members of BoatU.S. The Foundation operates more than a dozen programs including the only accredited, free, online general boating safety course, a low-cost EPIRB rental program, the “Help Stop the Drops” national clean fueling campaign and has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for nonprofit groups for boating safety and environmental projects.
Businesses or organizations interested in participating can next apply to the program in the fall of 2005 by going to http://www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/LJLP
NEW BOATU.S. FOUNDATION LIFE JACKET LOANER SITES
**GANTT Fire Dept., Andalusia
**U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DeQueen
**Hickory Creek Marina, Lowell
**Forever Resorts, Walnut Grove
Casitas Municipal Water District, Ventura
**Colorado State Parks, Littleton
**Titusville Municipal Marina, Titusville
Lake Park Harbor Marina, Lake Park
**West Point Lake Water Safety Council, LaGrange
Boats with Gusto, Eatonton
**Flotilla 87 USCGA, Sandpoint
**Waukegan Sail & Power Squadron, Arlington Heights
**U.S.C.G. Auxiliary Flotilla 1N-65, Fairhaven
Kingman Yacht Center, Cataumet
**Irish Boat Shop, Charlevoix
The City of Munising, Munising
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary 16-10, Traverse City
**Sundowner Marine, Wappapello
**US Army Corps of Engineers, Okatibbee Lake, Collinsville
Orleans County Marine Park, Albion
**Rollingview Marina, Durham
Fairfield Harbour Yacht Club, New Bern
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Southport
**Honey Creek Landing Marina, Grove
**U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Bonneville Lock and Dam, Cascade Locks
**Ridley Township Municipal Marina, Ridley Park
**Pebble Isle Marina, New Johnsonville
**Whitney Lakeside Village Marina, Red Oak
**Foss Waterway Marina, Tacoma
Pacific County Safety Task Force, South Bend
Joemma Beach State Park, Lakebay
**Saxon Harbor Boating Club, Inc., Saxon
U.S.C.G. Auxiliary 04-06, Ellison Bay
**Flotilla 83 U.S.C.G. Auxiliary, Pulaski