Local club working to help save lives by donating life vests to Kids Don’t Float stations

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:59 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:02 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HOUSTON, Alaska (KTUU) - While around the water, safety is key for making sure summertime fun doesn’t turn into tragedy.

That’s why the Susitna Rotary Club is working in partnership with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Office of Boating Safety to provide life vests for the Kids Don’t Float life jacket loaner stations across the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

“This is 100% what we want to do for our community, to keep people safe,” said Rylee Rudd, a member of the Susitna Rotary Club. “We’ve provided it, we want people to use it. We just ask that you put it back and try and treat it nicely.”

Each year around early spring, the Susitna Rotary Club pulls out last year’s stock of life vests and goes through them. If they need more or need to throw some out, they will. To replenish their supply they look for deals at Costco or Walmart, and even finding some gently used ones at garage sales.

“We have all different sizes of life jackets, and we have different types of life jackets as well,” Rudd said.

The loaner stations provide life vests for people or families that might not have one of their own. Then a person or child can borrow it for the day and then return it for the next person.

“Especially in Alaska, you know we lose a lot of children and people to drowning, so we put these boards up at the lakes and this river, so people can use them, it’s a loaner board,” Rudd said. “We want to make sure the kids know they have life jackets here, and they are safe around the water.”

On average, nine out of 10 people who died in boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket or were never found, according to the Office of Boating Safety.

There are loaner stations set up all over Alaska.

Copyright 2021 KTUU. All rights reserved.