Hundreds of life jackets were donated to the state before Memorial Day weekend

Alabama’s lakes and rivers are a popular destination for those seeking a peaceful escape. As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the number of boaters enjoying these waterways is expected to increase, bringing with it a greater risk for potential accidents.

Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Chris Blankenship, expressed his concern over the unfortunate incidents of drowning that have occurred in the state parks under his jurisdiction. He stated that there have been nearly a dozen such incidents during his tenure. Blankenship emphasized how devastating it is for families who visit the parks to enjoy themselves, only to experience such a tragic loss.

The state has taken an important step to prevent tragedies by implementing its life jacket loaner program.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources runs a program that enables individuals without a life jacket to borrow one from a state park.

Officers can also distribute flotation devices to individuals who are no longer able to rely on their jackets for safety.

To celebrate the inaugural year of this program, Academy Sports and Outdoors generously contributed 300 life jackets to ensure the safety of people in Alabama.

Cody Reid from Academy emphasized the importance of ensuring both enjoyment and safety for the community.

Governor Kay Ivey expressed her admiration for the program and even wore a life jacket herself.

“This weekend, I’ll be heading out to the lake on my pontoon boat to enjoy some time on the water,” the governor enthusiastically shared. “And of course, my loyal companion Missy will be joining me, and we’ll both be donning our trusty life jackets.”

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She encouraged everyone to follow suit.

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