Southold, NY – To kick-off National Safe Boating Week, a week (May 20-26, 2017) tasked with raising awareness of the importance of safe boating, the Sea Tow Foundation is working with 22 organizations around the United States to launch 14 new life jacket loaner stands and replenish eight already established loaner stands, in 16 states.
The new and replenished life jacket loaner stands will make 1,188 life jackets available to anyone, adults and/or children, to use for the day at no charge.
The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Stand Program has provided more than 40,500 life jackets throughout the U.S., free for anyone to use for the day, via more than 400 loaner stand sites. With National Safe Boating Week, the Foundation knew it was a perfect time to add a large allotment of stands where they are needed most (see chart below)
“Life jackets can save lives and everyone should have one when they’re on or in the water. That’s why we’ve set up this loaner stand and hundreds more like it across the country,” said Michael Wesolowski, Sea Tow Foundation executive director. “Everyone can find a life jacket at the loaner stand that fits that they can wear for their day on the water, then return it for someone else to use the next day. There are even sizes to fit infants and children.”
According to the most recent Recreational Boating Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard released in 2015, about 76% of fatal boating accident victims in 2015 died from drowning, and 85% of these drowning victims (where life jacket use was known) were not wearing a life jacket.
The U.S. Coast Guard requires that a properly fitting life jacket be available for every passenger aboard a boat, and that anyone under age 13 wear one at all times while on board and outside of an enclosed cabin. The Coast Guard also strongly recommends that everyone always wear a life jacket while a boat is underway.
The life jacket loaner stand program is funded through donations, as well as a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, which is administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The purpose of the grant is to increase the number of life jacket loaner stands in the country; specifically, in areas where there have been high incidents of drowning.
To learn more about partnering with the Sea Tow Foundation to sponsor a life jacket loaner stand, or to see a full list of loaner stands, visit www.boatingsafety.com
Sea Tow Foundation
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 400 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
About Sea Tow Services International
Founded in 1983, Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the largest on-water assistance fleet for boaters consisting of nearly 100 franchise locations across the United States with additional locations in Europe, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Southold, NY, Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer established the family-owned company to provide non-emergency assistance to boaters on the water after the U.S Coast Guard stopped servicing non-emergency calls. Known for their “distinctive yellow boats”, Sea Tow’s network of dedicated US Coast Guard licensed captains, crew, and support staff, are standing by 24/7 to serve its members and other boaters in need. Sea Tow also responds to emergency events, natural disasters, environmental response and oil spill cleanup. For more information, please visit seatow.com