The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program is the largest of its kind in the world, operating more than 1,300 stands throughout the country at boat ramps, marinas, parks and other locations where boaters have easy access to borrow the life jackets. The Foundation’s primary objective is to prevent drowning by providing life jackets, ranging from infant to adult extra-large, that boaters can borrow and return free of charge.
This year marks the 15th anniversary that the Sea Tow Foundation has received grant funding from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, which is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. This year, that funding allowed the Sea Tow Foundation to purchase more than 5,600 life jackets from Onyx/Absolute Outdoor.
Every year, the Sea Tow Foundation opens a new grant application cycle, allowing marine businesses, communities, and organizations to request Life Jacket Loaner Station building kits and/or life jackets. In the 2023 application cycle, a record-breaking 258 applications were submitted requesting a total of 20,852 life jackets. The quantity of life jackets that the Sea Tow Foundation can award through donations and grant funding is a quarter of that. After reviewing the applications, 140 groups were selected to receive life jackets. Additionally, 50 grant-funded Life Jacket Loaner Stand building kits will be sent out.
Due to the immense volume of applications for the nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program, the Sea Tow Foundation asked the boating industry to donate new or gently-used life jackets to meet the demands and safeguard the lives of boaters. In response, Onyx/Absolute Outdoor donated 447 brand-new life jackets that will make their way to 15 groups that host Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stations across 13 states.
Learn more about the Sea Tow Foundation at boatingsafety.com.