Hennepin County Life Jacket Loaner Boxes Updated
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is pushing safety for this weekend’s Fishing Opener. It teamed up with North Memorial Health to replace three large life jacket loaner boxes. There are a total of six throughout the county, including one at Medicine Lake in Plymouth. Each holds about 17 jackets from infant to adult sizes to borrow if needed. The goal is to save lives.
“90 percent of boating-related drownings the victim was not wearing a life jacket,” said Deputy Shane Magnuson. “That trend continued in 2018 with 13 out of 14 or 92 percent of victims not wearing life jackets.”
Magnuson also says something else to consider this time of year is water temperature.
“Water temperatures are extremely cold, through the entire state,” explains Magnuson. “Cold water can turn a great swimmer into a victim very rapidly. It’s very important, now more than ever, to wear a life jacket.”
The loaner boxes are based on the honor system. People who borrow jackets are expected to return them.
State law requires children 10 years old and under to wear a properly fitted life jacket while boating. A readily accessible and wearable life jacket is also required for each person onboard a boat. In addition, Sophie’s Law requires that all recreational boats that have an enclosed accommodation compartment, including sailboats with motors, must be equipped with a watercraft carbon monoxide detector.