Life jacket kiosks a reality in Lincoln County

Drake from Georgia-Pacific and Amanda Yount from Pacific West Ambulance with Sheriff Curtis Landers. Courtesy LCSO

LINCOLN COUNTY Ore. (NWNN) – 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.

The Sheriff’s Office partnered with Lincoln County Parks, Barrel Head Building Supply, and Lincoln County Parks department to place a kiosk at Moonshine County Park.

A second kiosk at Ollala Reservoir was made possible with support from Georgia-Pacific, Bill Wilke from R Gray’s Bargain yard in South Beach, and the Biorruster family from Toledo. Deputy Barry Bruster and Marine Cadet Parker constructed the kiosk.

The concept is simple.  “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 vests.

“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 U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices.

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.

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.