KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Sea Tow Foundation – a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading awareness of safe boating practices – is encouraging individuals and organizations passionate about the safety of boaters in the Capital Region to apply to host a Life Jacket Loaner Station in their community at little or no cost to them. On the Hudson River, the closest loaner station is located in Kingston- nearly one hour south of Albany, presenting a risk to area boaters.

From Lake Champlain to the Winooski and Connecticut Rivers, as well as other boating waterways in the state, Life Jacket Loaner Stations are placed in locations where boaters may easily access life jackets such as boat ramps, marinas, and parks. Anyone who wants to get out on the water may borrow a life jacket – at no cost – and are only asked to return it when they are done.

Any organization, company, or family that is interested in receiving life jackets or adding a Life Jacket Loaner Station to their area, can visit the Sea Tow Foundation’s website to apply. Organizations in other parts of the country that have successfully hosted Life Jacket Loaner Stations have included boating clubs, civic organizations, scout groups, Safe Kids, state parks and recreational areas, local law enforcement and businesses located along the water. For a list of all stations available nationwide, visit the interactive map.

Applications are due by Feb. 1, 2022, and there is no cost to apply. If selected, applicants will be notified by the end of March, and a set of new Onyx life jackets will be shipped free of charge a few months later, along with supporting materials needed to help set up and maintain a Life Jacket Loaner Station at the start of the 2022 boating season.

Gail R. Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation said Tuesday, “It is wonderful to see communities rally around their boating community to keep them safe. Through these loaner stations, we are able to work to prevent drowning and save lives.” 

Since 2008, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed more than 83,000 life jackets to local businesses and organizations across the country. Presently, there are over 950 Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stations and all of them carry life jackets ranging in size from infant through adult, ensuring they are available for anyone needing to borrow one.  

This program is made possible by a grant the Sea Tow Foundation receives from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.