Across the United States, there are over 550 BoatUS Foundation Life Jacket Loaner sites that collectively loan out children’s life jackets more than 140,000 times each year. That makes it one of the largest and most successful boating safety programs in the country. Becoming a new loaner site is easier with an application cycle that allows marinas, boat clubs, waterfront restaurants or government agencies to apply at any time, speeding the review process. 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 lifesaving program and help us find the best loaner sites possible,” said BoatUS Foundation Outreach Manager Alanna Keating.
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 best loaner sites will be accessible to the boating public, serve a large boating population and be located 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,” added Keating. There is no charge for the use of life jackets and the BoatUS Foundation replenishes the supply of jackets as wear-and-tear takes its toll.
The program gives tens of thousands of parents and boaters peace of mind each year when they head out on the water, and since 1997, three children’s lives have been saved by a BoatUS Foundation loaner life jacket. To apply to become a site or find a site near you, go to BoatUS.org/life-jacket-loaner.