This blog post is part of a series celebrating the great work of our Safe Boating Campaign partners. Since 2008, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed thousands of life jackets to local businesses and organizations in order to help recreational boaters stay safe while having fun on the water. The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program places life jacket loaner stations (nearly 600 currently in operation across the country) in locations where boaters will have easy access to life jackets. Loaner stations are also made available through local fire departments, community centers, and marine law enforcement officers. Boaters are encouraged to borrow, use and return these life jackets for the next boater’s use at no cost to them.
“Preventing drowning is one of the main goals of the Sea Tow Foundation and it is the reason why we started the Life Jacket Loaner Program in 2008,” said Gail R. Kulp, executive director for the Sea Tow Foundation. “The purpose of the Life Jacket Loaner Station Database is to allow any boater within the U.S. to find a place where life jackets can be borrowed and returned, free of charge, so that everyone can have a safe and fun time on the water.”
In order to make these loaner stations even easier to find, the Sea Tow Foundation and U.S. Coast Guard announced this month they are creating a national database of life jacket loaner station locations. An interactive map will allow for boaters to find the nearest loaner station to their location, with different makers for even easier location (address, host organization, marina name, park, boat ramp, etc.).
The Sea Tow Foundation is also known for its Flare Disposal and Sober Skipper programs in an effort to create safer waterways for all recreational boaters.
Operators who would like to submit their location information can do so by September 30, 2020 to www.boatingsafety.com/