Warmer weather unfortunately leads to more drownings as people hit the local rivers. Many victims of drowning accidents were reported to not have been wearing life jackets.
To promote water safety along the Willamette River, the City of Salem is launching their Life Jacket Loaner Program. Two permanent life jacket loaner stations are going in at Wallace Marine Park in September.
Salem Fire Chief, Mike Niblock, says one station will be located at the swimming area and the other will be at the boat launch area. Each station will have around 30 life jackets of various sizes, from infant to adult, that people can use during the day while they enjoy the river.
A temporary station has been set up in the meantime at Wallace Marine Park near the swimming area.
Chief Niblock says If you'd like to support the program, you may do so by making a monetary donation at Salem Fire Station #1, located at 370 Trade Street SE, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Used life jackets will not be accepted for safety reasons.