Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Life-jacket loaner stations expanding in provincial parks

To support and encourage water safety, five new life-jacket loaner stations are opening at provincial parks across Alberta, making a total of 15.  One of those new stations is at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park near Pincher Creek.

The life-jacket loaner station programs are self-serve kiosks, where visitors can borrow life-jackets and return them after use. Life-jackets are available at no cost in infant to adult sizes.
“Heading into the long weekend, many people are going to be enjoying the stunning lakes and rivers in Alberta,” said Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation. “Life-jackets save lives. Our life-jacket loaner stations help encourage everyone who heads out on the water to wear a life-jacket.”

New this summer:
Aspen Beach Provincial Park, near Bentley
Beauvais Lake Provincial Park, near Pincher Creek
Dillberry Lake Provincial Park, near Wainwright
Kinbrook Island Provincial Park, near Brooks
Wabamun Lake Provincial Park, near Stony Plain

Ten existing locations:
Carson-Pegasus Provincial Park, near Whitecourt
Crimson Lake Provincial Park, near Rocky Mountain House
Cypress Hills Provincial Park, near Medicine Hat
Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area, near Cochrane
Gregoire Lake Provincial Park, near Fort McMurray
Moonshine Lake Provincial Park, near Fairview
Pigeon Lake Provincial Park, near Wetaskiwin
Sikome Lake in Fish Creek Provincial Park, in Calgary
Touchwood Lake in Lakeland Provincial Recreation Area, near Lac La Biche
Young’s Point Provincial Park, near Valleyview

All the stations are operational except at Beauvais Lake and Kinbrook Island provincial parks, which will open later this summer.

“In support of our health and safety mandate for drowning and injury prevention, the life-jacket loaner station program promotes safe behavior in, on and around water,” said Shaun Percival, Development Manager with the Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories. “With each kiosk displaying water safety messaging and the parks representatives engaging with the public about the importance of wearing a life-jacket, we hope to encourage safe participation in water-related activities and create a positive experience for park visitors.”

The life-jacket loaner station program is a partnership between Tourism, Parks and Recreation, the Lifesaving Society Alberta and Northwest Territories and the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research.

Individuals are encouraged to bring their own life-jackets to provincial parks. The life-jacket loaner station program provides an opportunity for those who do not own a life-jacket, are a life-jacket short, or realize upon arrival that their life-jacket does not fit. Introduced in 2010, the loaner stations serve as a visual reminder to visitors to wear a life-jacket. Life-jacket loaner stations are operational in the summer months through the September long weekend.

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