SOUTHOLD, N.Y. – The Sea Tow Foundation has been awarded two grants from the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. The first grant award of $120,000 funds the continuation of the Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program, which has distributed more than 22,000 life jackets to boaters since its launch in 2008. The second grant award of $100,000 funds a new national Sea Tow Foundation campaign called “Designated Skipper”.
The Sea Tow Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization created by Sea Tow CEO and Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer to promote safe boating practices.
“These two grants will help us to continue giving boaters the tools and education they need to stay safe on the water,” said Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “We would like to thank the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund and the Coast Guard for recognizing and supporting these important boating safety programs.
image004The Sea Tow Foundation stocks more than 220 life jacket loaner stands nationwide where boaters can borrow a life jacket for a day on the water, free of charge. The purpose of the Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program Grant is to increase the number of loaner stands in the U.S., specifically in areas where there have been high incidents of drowning.
Starting in October, the Sea Tow Foundation will be accepting applications from non-profit organizations and state boating agencies across the country to host one or more life jacket loaner stands in their local areas. While many of the existing life jacket loaner stands are maintained by regional Sea Tow franchisees, this will be the second year that the Sea Tow Foundation has worked with other organizations to ensure that more boaters have access to free loaner life jackets.
The new “Designated Skipper” Campaign is part of the Sea Tow Foundation’s ongoing effort to encourage boaters to Designate a Sober Skipper while out on the water. Public awareness and educational materials will be distributed to boaters in an effort to help them understand the dangers of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and why they should Designate a Sober Skipper whenever they are out boating. The Sea Tow Foundation will be working with numerous non-profit organizations, state boating agencies and for-profit companies in the boating industry to help spread this message.
“Boating under the influence and drowning are two of the leading causes of death for recreational boaters,” said Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “These deaths could be prevented by borrowing a properly fitting life jacket and Designating a Sober Skipper each time boaters head out on the water.”