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How to start your own local life jacket loaner site

by Scott Croft 12 Apr 06:21 PDT
One of the signs available for life jacket loaner program offered by the BoatUS Foundation © Scott Croft

Would you like to try to help save a child's life this summer boating season? With a range of free materials available, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water can help your marina, club, fuel dock, campground, town or waterfront business get a Life Jacket Loaner location off the ground or promote an existing loaner site.

The BoatUS Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program was founded in 1997 and is one of the oldest and most popular life jacket loaner programs with more than 575 locations nationwide. More than 140,000 life jackets are loaned out each year, and to date, three lives have been saved.

To qualify, potential life jacket loaner sites need to have "regular hours" to allow borrowers from the general public to pick up or drop off life jackets, have a location to store them securely, log usage and monitor for wear, and provide the Foundation with program feedback. There is no cost borrowers simply sign out life jackets for the day or weekend and return them when the trip is over.

To apply to become a location, go to BoatUS.org/Life-Jacket-Loaner/Apply. Applications are reviewed within 30 days. Selected sites are given a weather-resistant storage bin containing 12 jackets in infant, child, youth and adult sizes with return tags; promotional signs and flyers; a log book to record loan information; sample press kit to aid in local promotion; educational signs; and flyers.

High quality preprinted and customizable educational and promotional loaner site signs, posters, and flyers are also available for purchase, or you can download print quality files and sign-out forms. The program also offers access to discounted custom logo life jackets. All funds go to support the 501(c)(3) organization's boating safety and clean water programs.

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