Sea Tow Foundation launches online Life Jacket Loaner Conference

The Sea Tow Foundation announced the launch of its inaugural online conference for the current and prospective hosts of their 1300-plus Life Jacket Loaner stations located nationwide. The conference, scheduled for March 5-7, 2024, will include a series of education, networking and community building sessions geared specifically for groups involved in life jacket loaner programs. 

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program, established in 2008, has grown to become the world’s largest initiative of its kind. The program allows boaters to borrow and return life jackets free of charge from loaner stations located in all 50 states, as well as Washington, DC, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands. With over 100,000 grant-funded life jackets distributed to date, the program operates through a network of dedicated volunteers representing a diverse group that includes families impacted by drowning, park rangers, law enforcement officers, marine industry professionals, educational institutions, community groups and more.

“While our Life Jacket Loaner program has expanded exponentially, the opportunity to engage, educate and empower our loaner station hosts has been limited. This conference presents a milestone moment to unite hosts, share best practices and strengthen the success of these life-saving stations,” said Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “We envision this conference as a catalyst for unified action to save more lives on the water.”

The upcoming three-day online conference, funded by a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund, aims to provide crucial education, resources and tools to these invaluable hosts who maintain and operate the loaner stations. Attendees will engage in live interactive sessions, featuring esteemed speakers like the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety and the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan Steering Committee. Topics span station maintenance, awareness campaigns, life jacket fitting, safety protocols, partnerships and volunteer support. Participants will also have the opportunity to network at virtual tables and booths. 

Registration is open now. There is an early bird registration rate of $20 until January 17 and a special gift will be mailed to the first 100 registrants. The conference will also be recorded, allowing registered participants to access content up to three months post-event.

To register and learn more about the conference, visit

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