Most drownings occur way out at sea, right? Wrong! Nine out of ten drownings occur in inland waters, most within a few feet of safety and involving boats under 20-feet long. Most drowning Victims had a life jacket available and chose not to wear it.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol and the Oregon State Marine Board are working to make the boating season a little safer with the installation of life jacket kiosks at popular swimming and boating locations throughout Lincoln County. Deputy Bruster said the community has come forward with wonderful support for the project.
The Sheriff’s Office partnered with Lincoln County Parks to place a kiosk at Moonshine County Park. Captain Ted from Barrel Head Building supply in South Beach donated the materials to build the kiosk at Moonshine. Lincoln County Parks Department constructed the kiosk.
The Sheriff’s Office partnered with Georgia-Pacific to place a kiosk at Ollala Reservoir. Bill Wilke from R Gray’s Bargain yard in South Beach donated materials. The Bruster family from Toledo donated the roofing materials. Deputy Bruster and Marine Cadet Parker constructed the kiosk. Pacific West Ambulance donated child and adult life jackets for the kiosks.
“If someone forgets their life jackets, they can borrow one, use it free of charge; we just ask they put it back,” said Marine Deputy Bruster. “The idea is providing a safe boating and swimming opportunity and preventing drownings. It’s a wonderful feeling to see children run up and grab a life jacket and run for the water.” Each kiosk includes infant, child, youth, adult personal flotation devices.
“Swimming and boating are a lot of fun, but drowning is a real danger,” said Deputy Bruster. “Life jackets can easily be forgotten, or sometimes families fall short of a life jacket or two. The life jacket loaner kiosk is a free and convenient resource for families to ‘grab and go’ with the hopes of eliminating preventable drownings.”
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations of new or lightly used personal flotation devices approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Donations can be dropped off with any Lincoln County Park Host or at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 225 West Olive in Newport.
Information and photos provided by LCSO