Life Jacket Loaner Stations
Wearing life jackets saves lives. In an effort to live our mission and promote a Safe Lake Lanier experience, the Lake Lanier Association is proud to announce the expansion of our Life Jacket Loaner Station program for 2022. We began this program in 2020 by launching two stations with the City of Cumming at the beach area of Mary Alice Park. In 2021, we doubled our effort by working with Forsyth County to add two additional stations at the boat ramp of Charleston Park, and at the beach area of Young Deer Creek Park. For 2022, we are again doubling this Safe Lake initiative by adding four new stations. We are excited to announce a partnership with Hall County by adding three new loaner stations at the boat ramp areas of River Forks, Laurel, and Wahoo Parks. In addition, we worked with the City of Gainesville to add a new loaner station at the boat ramp area of Lake Lanier Olympic Park.
All of the existing and new stations were fully stocked with Life Jackets in infant, child, youth, and adult sizes prior to the Memorial Day weekend. The LLA and our amazing group of volunteers manage the stations during the traditional lake season from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with weekly monitoring and restocking as necessary. After Labor Day, we won’t be monitoring and restocking the stations, but people can continue to borrow and return any life jackets that may be available.
Our hope is that by having life jackets available for borrowing and returning that we can help create a safer environment for people to enjoy the Lake Lanier experience. The stations are inspected weekly and life jackets are restocked when needed. Preliminary feedback from visitors at the park and from those who have borrowed jackets has been very positive and indicates the program has been utilized, helpful and given people of all ages a safer experience around the lake.
Our intent is to expand the program in the future to include other parks and boat launch areas around the lake. We would also like to consider a life jacket donation program and are looking for opportunities to bring on interested businesses, government entities, and other charitable interests/foundations to sponsor additional stations.
We continue to be grateful for the volunteer and sponsor support of this program. We would specifically like to thank The Ohman Family Foundation and one of our volunteers, Duane Fischer for the financial support of this program. Special thanks to Tracy Helms, Cumming Fairgrounds Director for agreeing to partner with us, and Derek Bong, MIG Builders, along with Micah Clark at Clark Homes for doing a great job building the stations at Mary Alice Park Beach.
For 2022, we are very pleased to have the partnership and great craftmanship of our new stations donated by Michael James Remodeling, and the materials donated by them and B&M Metals, Moore’s Lumber and Hardware, and Builders FirstSource.
Our goal continues to be about creating awareness and availability that wearing life jackets saves lives. We want to preserve great times on the lake and prevent tragedies by making people aware of the importance of wearing life jackets as an integral part of their enjoyment of our beautiful lake both in and on the water (like wearing a seat belt in a car), and making life jackets available to those in need. The stations are designed and built to last, with large signage area on both sides that is bilingual and like a billboard to promote wear it awareness, and instructions on how to properly wear the jackets.
We will continue to look at expansion opportunities in the future for swimming and boat launch areas around the lake. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have an interest in volunteering to support the ongoing monitoring of these stations, or if you have personal or business sponsorship interest in financially supporting our ongoing stations and future expansion efforts.