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Life jacket program reports third successful year

The Sea Tow Foundation announced it finalized the grant report for its Life Jacket Program for 2011, its third consecutive year of funding through the Sport Fish Restoration and the Boating Trust Fund, as administered by the Coast Guard.

The funding allowed for 2,901 life jackets to be purchased from Revere Supply Company in the fall of 2010 and distributed to Sea Tow Captains in 36 locations in 14 states across the U.S. in preparation for the 2011 boating season.

As in previous years, boaters were encouraged to borrow these “loaner” life jackets at no cost and to return them at the end of the day, so that they would be available for others to use.

The Sea Tow Captains who participated in the program reported that at least 11,066 boaters were able to use the life jackets in 2011. This means each life jacket was used by at least three people and many of these PFDs are still in use today.

“While it is impossible to know for certain how many lives are saved by boaters wearing life jackets each year, just knowing that more than 11,000 boaters who needed a life jacket were able to borrow one from the Sea Tow Foundation Program last year makes all the hard work and planning worth it,” Sea Tow Foundation executive director Gail Kulp said.

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