The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville will hold a Life Jacket Drive at Forrest W. “Bo” Wood Fee Booth, Lithia Springs Marina Ship Store and the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center June 28- July 8. The purpose of the Life Jacket Drive is to collect donations of new and slightly used life jackets, which will be placed on area Life Jacket Loaner Stations to keep boaters safe when on or around Lake Shelbyville.
Lake Shelbyville currently has 15 Life Jacket Loaner Stations throughout the area. Each station is stocked with life jackets in a range of sizes that are available for boaters to borrow free of charge for a day on the water. These stations are located at every developed recreation area around the lake.
Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director, Gail R. Kulp said, “Children often outgrow their life jackets and boaters often find that they want to update their own life jackets, but there is no need to throw away the old life jackets. This Life Jacket Drive will allow Lake Shelbyville to utilize donated life jackets from the local community to extend the life of our Life Jacket Loaner Program, by providing a use for life jackets that have been outgrown or are no longer needed.”
Since 2008, the non-profit Sea Tow Foundation, through its Life Jacket Loaner Program, has lent nearly 50,000 life jackets nationwide to boaters who need them for a day on the water. The majority of the life jackets are purchased through a series of grants from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, as administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. However, the program does receive additional life jackets from generous individual and corporate donors.
Kulp noted that dog life jackets have also been collected and are added to the loaner stations. In addition, boaters can donate new life jackets purchased from one of the many marine or retail stores in the area. “Protect a life. Donate a vest,” she added.
Lake Shelbyville’s Natural Resources Specialist Ashley Florey said: “Now is your chance to give back to the boating community. Together, we can make sure that everyone has a life jacket to wear while on the water at Lake Shelbyville”.
With a focus on safe boating practices that result in fun on the water, the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – was established in 2007 by Sea Tow Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer. After his passing in 2015, Captain Joe’s legacy continues as the Foundation brings attention to the number of preventable boating-related accidents, injuries, and deaths, and directly addresses prevention methods through education and awareness. More than 450 life jacket loaner stands are now available across the United States and the Foundation’s Designate a Sober Skipper program continues to grow. For more information, please visit BoatingSafety.com.