Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department and Colin’s Hope are putting life-saving tools in the hands of swimmers with a new life jacket loaner station at Lakeway City Park.
Swimmers may borrow life jackets ranging in size from infant to adult, put them on to enjoy a safe swim, and then return the life jackets to the station near the park’s lower level parking lot.
Swimming is permitted at the park’s shoreline on Lake Travis, but the area is unmanned. Several signs are posted that state “Swim at Your Own Risk.”
Since 1998, ninety percent of drowning victims in the United States were not wearing life jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. In many of these incidents, life jackets, if properly worn, would have increased their chances of survival.
Partners celebrating the opening of the new life jacket loaner station at Lakeway City Park, from left, are: Lynda Logan, Colin’s Hope program coordinator; Nora Jeanne Welsh, BeneFIT Bikram Yoga director; Alissa Magrum, Colin’s Hope executive director; Amy Engelmann, O’Neill’s Pools co-owner, and Andra Bennett, Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department director.
“Not wearing a life jacket while swimming in a lake is like not wearing a seatbelt when riding in a car,” Lakeway Parks and Recreation Director Andra Bennett said. “It only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen that could claim a life.”
In 2008, a young girl who was not wearing a life jacket drowned while swimming at Lakeway City Park.
“That loss, and other drowning deaths, were avoidable,” Bennett said. “Please take a few seconds to take advantage of these free life jackets while swimming at Lakeway City Park.”
Colin’s Hope, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates and supports programs that aid in preventing children from drowning, donated the life jackets for the loaner station.
“As a longtime Lakeway resident, a parent, an avid lake-goer and the executive director of Colin’s Hope, it makes me so proud to have this life jacket loaner station at the park,” Alissa Magrum said. “Knowing that there is another resource for children and families to enjoy the water more safely is an accomplishment for all of us. On behalf of myself and Colin’s Hope, I say thank you and look forward to seeing lots of life jackets being used at the lake. Together, we can prevent drowning.”
For information, call Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department at 512-314-7530.