The Sea Tow Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting boating safety, has partnered with the James V. Brown Library to establish the county's first life jacket loaner program. The library already has fishing rods and tackle boxes available to be borrowed through a program with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
The new Sea Tow Foundation life jackets are available to be borrowed through the library and are available in a variety of sizes, including infant, child, youth and adult sizes. The U.S. Coast Guard requires all children under 13 years of age to wear life jackets at all times when on a moving boat. Within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, anyone on any type of boat less than 16 feet in length or in any size canoe or kayak from Nov. 1 through April 30 must wear a life jacket while the boat is underway or at anchor.
"The Sea Tow Foundation is excited to establish this life jacket loaner program at the library," said Gail Kulp, Sea Tow Foundation's executive director and Montoursville resident. "This is the first life jacket loaner stand in Lycoming County and we have plans to establish more locations in the spring. These life jackets will continue to be available for boaters and other water-sports enthusiasts to borrow into the summer boating season and beyond."
From left are Gail Kulp, of Montoursville, executive director of Sea Tow Foundation, and Barbara McGary, executive director of the James V. Brown Library. Sea Tow recently donated life jackets in a variety of sizes that can be checked out in conjunction with the library’s fishing rods and tackle boxes.
"This will make a great addition to our Pennsylvania Wilds Collection," said Barbara McGary, executive director of the James V. Brown Library. "We are delighted to partner with the Sea Tow Foundation and have life jackets available for even our youngest patrons to check out. This helps make James V. Brown the place to go for boating safety."
Since 2008, Sea Tow Foundation has distributed more than 20,000 life jackets to boaters across the country.
These life jackets are bought through grants from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. They are distributed to local Sea Tow Captains and organizations that can make them available to boaters free of charge.