The Grand Lake Sail and Power Squadron (GLSPS) and GRDA dedicated five life jacket loaner stations that have been installed on Grand Lake by the Power Squadron.
The life jacket loaner program is an honor system…if you need a life jack for an activity around Grand Lake, you can borrow one from the loaner station, free of charge.
And when you are done with the life jacket, return it to the loaner station. Good stuff!
The life jacket loaner stations are located at:
- Grand Lake State Park
- Honey Creek State Park
- Twin Bridges State Park
- Wolf Creek boat ramp
- Elk River boat ramp.
The idea for the loaner stations came from Janet Sloan.
For many years she and her father went to Alaska to fish. There she saw life jacket loaner stations at many of the docks and marinas as part of a program called “Kid Don’t Float”.
The stations and life jackets were provided by the State of Alaska Fish and Game, the Coast Guard, and local communities.
The sample was used several years by GLSPS at the Grove Boat Show as part of the life jacket giveaway program sponsored by GRDA with the assistance of the Grand Lake Association.
In 2014, Janet learned that the Sea-Tow Foundation offered a grant for 50 life jackets and a loaner station to initiate a loaner program and submitted an application that was approved!
The Sea-Tow loaner station design was not suitable for Grand Lake conditions, so a new design was developed with Sea-Tow Foundation permission, which used fencing materials for the station.
A meeting was held in August 2014 with Bill Keefer, Grove City Manager, Brian Edwards, Chief of the GRDA Marine Police, then commander Gene Pett, and Janet at the Grove City boat launch on Wolf Creek where the first station was installed.
With approval of all parties and a scan for underground utilities, the first station was installed in September, 2014, by Larry Stout, Al Scarriot and David Sloan.
This was too late in the season to determine if the program would be successful.
Ken Moore and Ken Noteboom of GLSPS worked with State Park officials, GRDA, and others to install four additional loaner stations for the 2015 boating season.
They will manage the loaner program and replace life jackets as needed and perform maintenance.
Additionally, they installed fishing line recycle containers at these sites so aquatic life and boat engines are not harmed by waste or lost fishing line.
The project took the efforts of many people and brings credit on the Grand Lake Sail and Power Squadron for improving water safety in Grand Lake.
For more information or questions, contact Commander David Sloan at 918-786-4871.