For the first time, six life jacket loaner stands with 400 life jackets will be available to individuals and families attending the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Feb. 16-20 on Virginia Key at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin.
Through a partnership between the National Marine Manufacturers Association – the organizers of the Miami Boat Show – Onyx Outdoor, and the Sea Tow Foundation, life jackets will be available for children and adults visiting the show to borrow, use and return as they explore the boats and yachts docked at the show’s marina. Each of the six life jacket loaner stands holds life jackets in sizes infant to adult. Onyx Outdoors has donated all of the life jackets.
The initiative is part of the foundation’s national Life Jacket Loaner program, which has more than 340 life jacket stands and has made over 35,600 life jackets available across the United States, where boaters can borrow a life jacket for free.
“Proper life jacket use and boater safety education are something NMMA takes seriously. Partnering with Sea Tow to have its life jacket loaner stands available at our Miami show help ensure we carry these important messages directly to the boater,” said Ben Wold, executive vice present of NMMA. “Not only are the life jacket loaner stands a safety resource for attendees browsing the docks but they are an excellent educational tool, reminding boaters that a life jacket is something that should always be available when needed.”
The Sea Tow Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization created by Captain Joe Frohnhoefer, the founder of Sea Tow. The foundation’s mission is to promote safe boating practices, such as the use of life jackets and to designate a sober skipper.
“Having our life jacket loaner stands at the Miami International Boat Show is a way to inform the public about the importance of wearing life jackets, while also providing safety during the boat show,” said Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Michael Wesolowski. “Anyone wanting that extra security, including infants and children, can find a life jacket that fits, then return it for someone else to use.”
The Sea Tow Foundation and NMMA are searching for volunteers who will ensure stands are stocked with jackets and help fit attendees with life jackets during the show. Each volunteer receives free admission to the show and the opportunity to explore after his or her volunteer shift is completed.