The Sea Tow Foundation announced that funding for its Life Jacket Program for 2011 allowed for 2,901 life jackets to be purchased from Revere Supply Co. and distributed to Sea Tow captains in 36 locations in 14 states across the country in preparation for the 2011 boating season.
The Sea Tow captains who participated in the program reported that at least 11,066 boaters were able to use the life jackets in 2011. This means each life jacket was used by at least three people, and many of the PFDs are still in use today.
As in previous years, boaters were encouraged to borrow these “loaner” life jackets at no cost and to return them at the end of the day so they would be available for others to use.
“While it is impossible to know for certain how many lives are saved by boaters wearing life jackets each year, just knowing that more than 11,000 boaters who needed a life jacket were able to borrow one from the Sea Tow Foundation Program last year makes all the hard work and planning worth it,” Sea Tow Foundation executive director Gail Kulp said in a statement.
“Each year, the program has built on the efforts we’ve made in the previous year, and we are happy that in just three years we’ve been able to increase life jacket wear by a significant number of ‘at-risk’ boaters,” she added.