New Life Jacket Loaner Station opens at Phil Moore Park

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Tuesday, September 7th, at Phil Moore Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources showed off their brand new Life Jacket Loaner Station.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Parks and Recreation teamed up together to build this new station when they noticed more and more people taking to the water for fun over the course of the pandemic. 

“We all know because of Covid that everybody was locked out, and it pushed people to the outdoors,” said Boating Education Coordinator for Kentucky Marcus Bowling. “So, we noticed over the last two years that we had a large number of individuals buying kayaks at Walmart, Rural King, or wherever and going to the water. We decided that we wanted to partner and start an initiative for life jacket loaner stations.”

The conservation officers decided to set up this station in addition to the one a few miles away at Romanza Johnson Park so that people can safely enjoy Drake’s Creek.

Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Resources Conservation Officer Bryan Hill said it is the law that a person has a lifejacket on while they’re out in a kayak, canoe or motorboat on the water. 

“We’re all about anything we can do to get lifejackets into the hands of those people who are using our lakes, rivers and streams,” said Hill.

He says he wants people to wear the life jackets for more than just legal reasons. 

“Life jackets literally save lives. I’m still here today because a life jacket saved my life when I was eight years old. So, I’m a big believer in having lifejackets and wearing them,” Hill said. 

The stations have jackets in all sizes, ranging from infant, to youth, small adult, adult and extra large. Each kiosk has about 10 life jackets. 

The jackets are completely free to use. People can  return them back to the loaner station when they’re finished using them.