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Heartland Outdoors cover November 2017

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Through the Lens

Wear It For Life!

Thu, July 07, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 7, 2016 – If you need to borrow a kid’s life jacket for the day or weekend, chances are there is one near you at one of the over 1,500 life jacket loaner sites across the country at BoatUS.org/loanermap.


Even twins can get a right-sized life jacket through the BoatUS Foundation kids’ Life Jacket Loaner Program./image provided

The website list is “the nation’s largest single source of life jacket loaner sites” according to BoatUS. It includes nearly 600 free BoatUS Foundation kids’ Life Jacket Loaner sites at marinas, boat clubs and firehouses, along with over 900 local community loaner sites to give parents and boaters more options.

Begun in 1997, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water’s kids’ Life Jacket Loaner Program is the nation’s oldest and largest loaner program (all 50 states + District of Columbia), making it easy for boaters to borrow a right-sized child’s life jacket for the day, afternoon, or weekend at no cost. Each year, the Foundation loaner sites lend out life jackets over 140,000 times.

I was especially pleased to note over the recent holiday weekend that at many of the popular boat ramps, there were loaner posts set up with plenty of lifejackets for those who may have arrived at the ramp only to discover they didn’t have quite enough to go around.

The rule on my boat is simple, it doesn’t leave the dock until everyone is wearing a pfd. It’s pretty simple. Not just when we are “under power”, “running the big motor” or in “big water”. If your butt is in the boat, you wear a pfd. I use a collar style inflatable and honestly never even know I’m wearing it. It doesn’t interfere at all with my casting or shooting of my bow. It’s not hot, not bulky, and worth it’s weight in gold.

Some of you may remember when I took a header off the shooting deck last year into the Kaskaskia.

There are so many styles to choose from that the excuse that it’s too hot, to uncomfortable, I can’t fish, shoot my bow, and any other myriad of excuses just don’t fly. It’s a simple and inexpensive way to greatly up your chances for survival should you end up in the water.

So this year, if you don’t have a pfd, don’t have a enough for your guests, consider using Boat US’ handy guide to find a loaner station near you.

Heartland Community - Let’s wear those PFD’s !

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