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Life Jacket Loaner Program
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Life Jacket Loaner Program

Since 2008, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed over 65,000 life jackets to local businesses and organizations across the country. The over 700 life jacket loaner stations currently in operation are placed in locations where boaters will have easy access to the life jackets, such as boat ramps, marinas, and parks.  Boaters may borrow the life jackets at no cost and are asked to return them when they are finished so that they are available for others to use. Click this link to read an article in our blog about this program.

Your organization can apply to host and maintain a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station stocked with life jackets in a variety of sizes available for boaters to borrow free of charge for a day out on the water through the Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant listed below.

The Life Jacket Loaner program has the following components: Life Jacket Drive, Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant,  the Life Jacket Partnership, and My Vest Friends. Each link listed below includes information on how the component works.

These additional components comprise the Life Jacket Loaner Program.

Other items related to the program are:


Child wearing life jacket in front of loaner stand


3 boys wearing life jackets in front of loaner stand


Group of people wearing life jackets at a sailing association


Life Jacket Drive

The purpose of the Life Jacket Drive is to collect new and gently used life jackets from boaters that no longer need them or have outgrown them, and then utilize them to save lives in one of the hundreds of Life Jacket Loaner Stations around the country! Collected life jackets are inspected using the checklist shown below to see if they are in good condition to be donated and used by others.
If you have new or gently-used life jackets to donate, the Sea Tow Foundation can help you find a Life Jacket Loaner Station near you that can put them to good use. Simply fill out this form and someone will be in touch with you soon.


Another benefit of the Life Jacket Drive is that it can help a Life Jacket Loaner Station host restock an existing station or start an entirely new station with the donated life jackets that are collected in a community drive. Life jackets are expensive and grant funding is not guaranteed each year, so the Life Jacket Drive is one way to help ensure our Life Jacket Loaner Station hosts will be able to keep their programs running throughout the year.

Life Jacket Drive Materials

The Sea Tow Foundation has developed a program manual and materials to help you collect life jackets from your community. These include a press release template, a customizable poster and decal stickers that can be placed on a collection box in your local area. Plus, the Sea Tow Foundation will provide you with whistles and laminated cards to attach to the donated life jackets to mark them as part of your loaner program. All of the life jackets that you collect can be kept in your community to help boaters stay safe on the water, so sign up today to host a Life Jacket Drive!



Life Jacket Loaner Station Grant

Life Jacket Loaner Station Grants are available to clubs, organizations, municipalities and businesses throughout the U.S. These grants provide limited quantities of life jackets and/or loaner stands that can be placed in the local area where they can be made available to boaters who would like to borrow the life jackets.

The 2021 boating season application will be opening on November 1, 2020. In the meantime, if your organization is in need of life jackets, you are welcome to add your information to our online waiting list. When life jackets become available, we will let you know.

Click here for the life jacket loaner station grant application that opens on November 1, 2020

 Man standing in front of life jacket loaner stand


Life Jacket Partnership

Your business or organization can partner with the Sea Tow Foundation to establish a Life Jacket Loaner program in your community. Your company logo will appear on the back of the life jackets along with the Sea Tow Foundation’s logo and signage on the stands can also feature your company logo. For more information on the process and the fees involved, please click here.

2 men standing in front of loaner stand and showing off logos on back of life jacket


My Vest Friends

Wearing life jackets is important and the Sea Tow Foundation wants to celebrate and highlight the people who wear their life jackets on or around the water. Vest Friends is defined when two or more people are wearing life jackets together and the Vest Friends Campaign was created to celebrate and encourage life jacket wear among boaters. To participate, you simply put on a life jacket, grab a friend with a life jacket, take a selfie and upload it to social media with #VestFriends. It's a simple and fun way to share how easy it is to wear a life jacket!


Other Ways to Promote the Life Jacket Loaner Program

Promote the Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stations in your local area and encourage boaters to use them.


Map of Life Jacket Loaner Stations

The following map showcases life jacket loaner stations around the country. The YELLOW pins are locations where the Sea Tow Foundation has established life jacket loaner stations through its grant. The PURPLE pins are other locations where life jackets are available to be borrowed outside of the Sea Tow Foundation.

If you know about a life jacket loaner station and do not see it included on this map, please ask the loaner station hosts to submit the location to the Sea Tow Foundation using the available form. The Sea Tow Foundation is establishing a national database of life jacket loaner station locations in the U.S. though a project with the U.S. Coast Guard, so we want to make sure to include all of the locations nationwide. You can read more about this project here.