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Life Jacket Loaner Stations

Life jacket loaner stations are based on an honor system and are important in the local communities to support boating and water safety. Anyone who needs to use a life jacket can do so, but life jackets need to be returned for others to use. Many of these loaner stations are available in partnership with the facility owners/providers, grant funding from the Marine Board, and supplied with life jackets thanks to the help of groups like the Nautical Safety Foundation and other non-profit organizations.

Per OHA guidelines, Outdoor recreation operators must inform people if life jackets are not cleaned between users. Operators also may consider setting life jackets aside for a period of two hours between users. Operators should encourage users to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before and after returning a life jacket from a loaner station.

If you are interested in helping the Nautical Safety Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, email info@nsf-nw.org to arrange a pickup of your life jackets that are in good condition. You can also donate money to purchase new jackets via their website www.nsf-nw.org. The Nautical Safety Foundation helps supply life jacket loaner stations with the much-needed life jackets.



Meg's brother Derrek, handing out a free life jacket

Meg's step-sister Ashley and Aunt Lonnie explaining life jacket sizes during a Meg's Moments life jacket giveaway

Rob and Jan O'Meara talking about life jackets to a son and daughter

Think of Meg...

Meg O’Meara Clark went out with friends for a fun, relaxing float on the Clackamas River back on July 5, 2013. The day was a typical sunny, hot day not unlike most Julys in Oregon. The water, however, remained cold. The float was a popular one, from Barton Park to Carver Park, roughly a 5.5-miles, on the meandering river, with shallow, sloped areas making for fun “chutes” and gravel bars to pull over for respite.

Meg had been taking breaks to beach her tube and swim periodically. An accomplished swimmer, Meg was comfortable in the water and felt like she was in her element. Meg was floating with her step-brother, Jack Eichhorn. The day had been a blast and just upstream of the Carver boat ramp where floaters take out, Meg jumped in the water for one last dip before the end of the trip. Although this time, she did not resurface. Dive teams and other first responders searched the area for quite some time, which proved difficult. Her family joined in the rescue efforts, although by day three, it was now a recovery mission. Meg’s body was recovered in 15 feet of water, close to where she went in.

Rob O'Meara and Jack Eichhorn on the bank of the Clackamas River near the location where Meg's body was recovered in 2013.“We don’t want anyone else to drown on this river,” says Rob O’Meara. With a quaking voice filled with passion and grief, he said, “It’s preventable. A simple thing like wearing a life jacket. It doesn’t matter how well you can swim. Meg was a great swimmer. It didn’t matter.”

Whenever the water calls, think of Meg…and WEAR A LIFE JACKET.




Resources

Learn all about life jackets and find one that fits your activity!

What's a good life jacket fit


Become a Partner in Safety! Commit to using images of children and adults wearing life jackets for water recreation 

Life jacket loaner station in downtown Corvallis
If you are interested in donating to the Nautical Safety Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, you can contact through info@nsf-nw.org to arrange a pickup of your life jackets that are in good condition. Or you can make a financial donation for the purchase of new life jackets at www.nsf-nw.org.