Life jackets will be available for free, day-use in Sylvan Lake Provincial Park this summer, under a program announced last Wednesday.
Running on the honour system, the Life Jacket Loaner Station Program offers life jackets in a variety of sizes for park visitors.
It’s a joint project of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation and the Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories, in collaboration with Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research. The program is running in 17 provincial parks.
“Sometimes people arrive and realize they’re one life jacket short or one’s too small or they’re not in the proper condition,” said Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, in a media release. “The life jacket loaner stations provide the opportunity to grab a life jacket from the kiosk and return it when they’re done. No one should be in a boat without a life jacket.”
The life jackets are located beside the Beach Ambassador’s hut in Centennial Park.
The Livesaving Society is incorporating a new public education initiative into the loaner stations called “Preventable”. The initiative will involve displaying signs which include the message “You’re not expecting to need a life jacket today.” The message is aimed at having people stop and think before heading out onto the water, and to encourage them to visit the kiosk and borrow a life jacket, according to a release from Barbara Costache, chief administrative officer of the organization.