The Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Association kicked off National Safe Boating week Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new life vest loaner kiosk as part of the pilot statewide program, Kids Don’t Float, and an attempt to set a world record for life jackets worn. See the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story by Outdoors Editor Paul Smith: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/152342755.html?shr=f#!page=0&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst
“Kids Don’t Float is all about keeping everyone – especially kids – safe while out enjoying Wisconsin’s many rivers and lakes,” said Chuck Horn, the former conservation warden heading the effort. “There are cases when people launch the boat thinking they have a life jacket for each passenger, and they don’t. This program will HELP ensure all in the boat will have one, as the law requires.” The DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement hopes to replicate the successful life jacket program started in Homer, Alaska, in 1996 to combat that state’s high rate of child and youth drownings. Alaska started the program with several boat landing stations where life jackets were available to be borrowed at no cost and returned after use. Today, Alaska has more than 500 loaner stations statewide. “This is definitely an honor program. If you need a jacket, take one before you launch and simply return it to the station once you’re off the water,” Horn said.
Learn how to get your organization involved at your local boat landing: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/dnrnews_article_lookup.asp?id=2065