By Ronnie Weston| April 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM CDT - Updated July 11 at 12:15 PM
NORTH LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, along with the City of North Little Rock, Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Sea Tow Foundation, have opened a new Life Jacket Loaner station at the Arkansas River Verizon Boat Ramp in North Little Rock.
This new location joins the more than 200 Life Jacket Loaner Stands already established around the country by the Sea Tow Foundation. Located in popular boating areas, these stands allow boaters to borrow a properly fitting life jacket free of charge to take onboard with them.
The Sea Tow Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Program is funded through donations, as well as by a grant from the Sport Fish Resortation and Boating Trust Fund, which is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
AGFC Boating Education Coordinator Bob Cushing said he expects the program to benefit a lot of Arkansans. "While boating, wearing a U.S. Coast Guard life jacket is the most important factor in preventing fatalities," he said.
As part of the current grant, the Sea Tow Foundation accepted applications from non-profit organizations and boating agencies around the country to host a life jacket loaner program in their local areas. The AGFC and City of NLR were accepted as one of the hosts. "We are happy that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the City of North Little Rock has joined the growing list of Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stands, which have loaned out nearly 22,000 life jackets to recreational boaters at no cost since 2008," said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp. "Each of our life jacket loaner stands is stocked with life jackets ranging in size from infant to adult so everyone can be safe on the water."
For more information on the Life Jacket Loaner Program go to the Foundation's web site at www.boatingsafety.com and on the Sea Tow Foundation's Facebook page throughout the spring and summer.