Life Jacket Loaner Stations can help kids of all ages to stay safe

Local News

YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) – While authorities investigate the circumstances around the incident at Wall Lake, safety officials are reminding everyone to use life jackets while out on the water.

Along the Missouri River in Yankton, officials are making sure kids of all ages have access to life jackets.

At Riverside Park in Yankton, you can enjoy walking along the Missouri River. There’s even a boat ramp so you can spend time out on the river.

Korie Norris is visiting the park today. While she’s not currently spending time out on the water, she knows the importance of wearing a life jacket.

“It’s very important, just in case if you get in a current or something, you have a life jacket on,” visiting Yankton, Korie Norris said.

Right next to the boat ramp at Riverside Park, you’ll find a life jacket loaner station, where families can borrow one to keep their kids safe.

There’s even directions on how to properly wear a life jacket.

“The smallest is two years old to probably 130-pound child, there’s not adult sizes, we just have them for the kids, but it’s a variety of sizes,” Yankton County Emergency Management director, Paul Scherschligt said.

Scherschligt says the stations were installed about six years ago after a tragic accident in the area.

“We had an incident where a young child had drowned at the river, was fishing on the boat dock and he fell in,” Scherschligt said. “There were no life jackets, so we felt it would be important, a bunch of us got together and looked at how to do it.”

There’s another station right across the river on the Nebraska side, too.

Any one is free to use the life jackets, all Scherschligt asks is that you return it once you’re finished.

“We want to make sure that anyone who goes down there and needs to use them, if they’re out boating or walking on the shore if they need them,” Scherschligt said.

It could potentially save a life.

“You never know what’s going to happen and it’s probably the safest thing to do,” Norris said.

The stations and life jackets are paid for by donations from area businesses.

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