Donated life jackets help save lives

Ponca City Now - July 1, 2016 9:46 am

More than 40 life jackets have been donated as part of “Save a Life,” a special promotion of the Kaw Lake Association and Kaw Lake Educational Foundation.

Recently these two organizations teamed up with the Corps of Engineers to ask people to donate life jackets at the Kaw Lake Association office, 3517 Lake Road.

Donations of life jackets are still accepted at the Kaw Lake Association office or by phoning (580) 762-9494 or (580) 716-9015.

“ For the past three years, the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation and the Corps of Engineers have conducted water safety radio campaigns around Memorial Weekend, Fourth of July and Labor Day,” said Brook Lindsay, KLEF vice president.

“ This year we expanded this promotion with the Kaw Lake Association to ‘Save a Life.’”

Life jackets donated at the KLA office are available to the public to borrow on their way to the lake. Although the emphasis is on youth sizes, all size jackets are appreciated, said Natascha Holloway, KLA president.

“ If you find yourself on the way to the lake without enough life jackets, the KLA invites you to stop by their office any time and pick one up,” she said.

“ Life jackets are also available to borrow from the Sandy Beach gate house,” said Peat Robinson, Kaw Lake Corps project manager.

Water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, white water rafting, and riding a jet ski are the most common water sports. It’s just as important to wear a life jacket when canoeing, kayaking, fishing, or taking the boat out on the lake.

To have a life jacket in the boat but not wear it is like not wearing your seatbelt in your car or not wearing a helmet on a bike or motorcycle. The life jacket may not be comfortable or fashionable, but any situation can take a turn for the worse unexpectedly.

Just like in driving a car or riding a bike, accidents happen so quickly you may not have time to put on your seatbelt, helmet or life jacket for it to do its job

“ It’s tempting to boat without wearing a life jacket, especially on nice days,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization of Wear It!

“ A life jacket not worn can’t save your life. Always Wear It!”

According to a blog from Bass Pro titled “The Importance of Wearing a Life Jacket”, there are several opportunities while out on the water a person could encounter a situation where a life jacket could save their life, i.e. the weather could change causing the water to become so rough that a person could be thrown from their boat. Also, a person could slip, fall and hit their head, becoming unconscious; or run their boat onto unseen obstacles, causing the boat to sink, or swerving to avoid an obstacle and throwing someone from the boat. In all of these situations, wearing a properly fitted life jacket highly increases your chances of survival.

“ We also would like to create loaner boards around Kaw Lake for people to borrow life jackets. We are looking for someone needing an Eagle Scout project,” said Kathy Tippin, executive director of the Kaw Lake Association. “We have a design in mind and would appreciate anyone interested in this project to contact us.”

The Mission of the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation is to promote educational programs and issues for water safety, wildlife conservation, flood control, fishing and boating safety, eagle watch and other water and wildlife educational issues.

The mission of the Kaw Lake Association is to develop and market the Kaw Lake area with the goal of economic growth for area communities.

Individuals who would like to become involved with the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation or the Kaw Lake Association should call 580-762-9494 or e-mail [email protected] .


Terri Buesing, left, and Kathy Tippin, right, collect life jackets to loan to people going to the lake as a part of the Kaw Lake Association and Educational Foundation’s “Save A Life” Project.


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