BoatUS Foundation seeks locations for life jacket program

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The BoatUS Foundation life jacket loaner program helps children get properly sized life jackets.

The BoatUS Foundation life jacket loaner program helps children get properly sized life jackets.

The BoatUS Foundation said it is seeking additional locations for its life jacket loaner program.

The foundation said that more than 550 life jacket loaner sites across the country collectively lend out children’s life jackets more than 140,000 times a year. Becoming a new loaner site is now easier with an application cycle that the foundation said allows marinas, boat clubs, waterfront restaurants and government agencies to apply at any time, speeding the review process.

The foundation said there is no cost to set up a loaner site and it’s easy to do at BoatUS.org/life-jacket-loaner.

“We want to make it easier for marinas, waterfront organizations or other groups that serve boaters to join this life saving program and help us find the best loaner sites possible,” BoatUS Foundation outreach manager Alanna Keating said in a statement.

The foundation said approved locations will receive a kit containing 12 child life jackets with sizes from infant to youth, as well as signage and a local publicity kit. Loaner host sites simply need to track usage with an easy sign-out system and provide the foundation with periodic feedback.

The foundation said the best loaner sites will be accessible to the boating public, serve a large boating population and be in areas without current loaner programs.

Boaters typically borrow a life jacket for an afternoon or weekend.

“We know kids grow fast, and sometimes boaters need a correctly sized jacket for a younger guest,” Keating said.

There is no charge for the use of life jackets. The foundation said it replenishes the supply of jackets because wear and tear takes its toll.

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