On Loan For Safety

BoatU.S. expands life jacket loaner program

Published online: May 08, 2006 News
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The BoatU.S. Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program For Kids added 45 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.)

Since its inception nine 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.  Every state now has at least one life jacket loaner location.

"Having life jackets for everyone aboard means having a life jacket that fits everyone," said Chris Edmonston, director of boating safety for the BoatU.S. Foundation.  "An oversized vest can easily slip off over a child's head, so that's where we can help boaters with our Loaner Program.  We make it easy by bringing children's life jackets right to the waterfront where boaters need them and they are absolutely free. Once the family is done enjoying the water, they simply return the jacket," he added.

The Foundation provides each new loaner site with a "kit" of 12 life jackets (a selection of infant, child, and 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 640,000 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, a free kid's Life Jacket Loaner Program, 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 2006 by going to http://www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/LJLP





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