The Sea Tow Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to the education and awareness of safe boating practices, will work with 154 organizations and agencies to establish new Life Jacket Loaner Stations and restock existing stations for the 2021 summer boating season, according to the boatingindustry.com website.
With more than 750 Life Jacket Loaner Stations already located throughout the United States, the Sea Tow Foundation is providing 50 life jacket loaner station building kits to organizations, agencies and businesses across the country to set up new loaner stations. This expansion allows the Foundation to cover 47 of the 50 states across the country as well as a number of the U.S. territories.
These stations are made possible by donations and corporate sponsorships, as well as grant funds provided through the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund. This is the 14th consecutive year of grant funding for this program.
Thanks to the record number of boaters in 2020, the requests for life jackets far outnumbered the Foundation’s available grant funds. Organizations, agencies and businesses requested more than 12,000 life jackets yet only 8,340 could be ordered with the funding available.
Through its Life Jacket Loaner program, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed more than 83,000 life jackets to local businesses and organizations across the country since 2007. Loaner stations are placed in locations where boaters will have easy access to the life jackets, such as boat ramps, marinas, and parks. Boaters may borrow the life jackets at no cost and are asked to return them when they are finished so they are available for others to use.