Life jacket "loaner station" makes its Milledgeville debut


Image credit: Adam Heagy // Oconee Outfitters

After an action-packed Fourth of July on the Oconee River that included multiple 911 calls and multiple overturned kayaks, Bubba Stanford got to work.

Stanford, a sergeant with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, kickstarted the efforts to install a pair of "life jacket loaner stations" on the Oconee River below Sinclair Dam. One is now up and operational, located at the dam boat ramp, AKA "the  tailrace," just below the dam. Georgia Power took care of the signage and the installation.

The second loaner station, meanwhile, is expected to be erected at some point this summer near the Oconee Greenway boat ramp.

Similar stations be found along waterways in different parts of Georgia. It's all part of the DNR's SPLASH program.

Stanford recently explained to Baldwin2k how the program works.

"(The life jackets) are basically loaners, and the program works on the honor system. Use it and then bring it back when you're done," Stanford said. 

Added the Milledgeville Police Department in a press release: "We want everyone to enjoy the River but make smart choices when doing so. If you borrow a lifejacket, please remember to return it when you’re done so the next person has the opportunity to use it."

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