JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — Before you go out on the water this summer, officials in Jackson want you to have the gear you need to stay safe.

That’s why the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has brought back the Life Jacket Safety Program for a second year.

Children and adults can borrow life jackets from seven Jackson County parks until Labor Day.

The program launched Monday and officials said it’s just another way to encourage water safety and prevent tragedy.

Specialized Assignment Sheriff Deputy, Jay Truchan said he was inspired to make life jackets available for free within Jackson County Parks when he noticed other places were already doing it.

“Unfortunately, there are several drownings throughout the state of Michigan. We’ve had some out in Jackson county throughout the years.,” Truchan reflected. “This is trying to promote their safety for water.”

When he got the go ahead from his managers, the loan stations were assembled and installed. Thanks to the owner of the Eagle Point Marina and Boat Club in Clarklake, they were stocked and ready for use.

Blair Huff donated the life jackets for each unit. He said he was happy to help.

“We’ve been making donations for the last couple of years,” Huff said. “We like to support our local counties here and our local police departments. We’re all about boater safety here so we were gun ho to do it.”

Units are set up at the following seven county parks: 

  • Vandercook Lake County Park
  • Clark Lake County Park
  • Grass Lake County Park
  • Vineyard Lake County Park,
  • Little Wolf Lake County Park,
  • Swains Lake County Park
  • Pleasant Lake County Park

The loan stations operate on an honor system.

That means that if you borrow a life jacket for your time spent out on the lake, Jackson County officials trust that you will return it once you’re done.