Eagle Scout’s FREE Life Jacket Loaner Program Aims To Save Lives

Because of a Normandy Park Eagle Scout’s idea, those enjoying boating at the Redondo and Des Moines marina will now be able to borrow life jackets for no charge.

The “Life Jacket Loaner Board” aims to save lives this summer and educate swimmers and boaters on the proper use of life jackets.

The idea for the loaner board belongs to Eagle Scout Evan Will from Troop #392 out of Normandy Park. Wanting to impact the community with something long standing and potentially lifesaving, Evan noticed how many people, mostly kids, were using the Redondo dock and swimming without a life jacket.

“The life jacket loaner board will be a success if it saves one life,” said Evan.

Eagle Scout Evan Will's name graces the Life Jacket Loaner Board that he created.

Under the mentorship of Des Moines Marina Manager Scott Willkins and South King Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer Kirsti Weaver, the loaner board was designed. The visual part of the board was created by sign maker Jason Carter and the Multi-Care Health System design team in Tacoma. The base and board were built by over 20 scouts and family members, who assembled, painted, carved, and drilled along with marking the jackets as loaners.

With the completion of the Marina construction project, a second board will be placed at the Des Moines Marina. The boards will be under the supervision of Troop #392, who will replace jackets should they go missing.

In the United States, approximately 85% of drownings involved victims who were not wearing life jackets at the time.

For more information on the life jacket loaner board or for information on using life jackets properly, please contact Safe Kids’ Coalition Coordinator Deb Will at 253-372-7729.

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