When used appropriately, life jackets protect you when you are not expecting to be in the water, especially around open water. Ensure your life jackets are tested & approved by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
USCG tested and approved life jackets should be worn by everyone, when in or around open/natural bodies of water, and when boating. Life jackets should be sized appropriately for the wearer.
When other layers of protection may break down, life jackets can help prevent unintentional drowning.
Collier County has 15 “Kids Don’t Float, Life Jackets Do!” Life Jackets Loaner Stations in Collier County – Here is link to an interactive Google Map.
Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida on September 28th, 2022. Impacts of the storm caused all of our life jacket loaner stands to be damaged or destroyed. Our Coalition partners came together to rebuild 15 brand new life jacket loaner stands. As of May 11th, 2023, all of the brand-new life jacket loaner stands have been delivered to our Collier beaches and parks. We are thrilled to be able to bring back the stands to help keep families safe around water. See the list of life jacket loaner stand locations below:
Boy Scouts Troop 243
City of Naples
Collier County Parks and Recreation
Collier County Public Schools
Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Florida Department of Health-Collier County
Marco Island Fire Rescue
Naples Children and Education Foundation
NCH Healthcare System
Rotary Club of Naples
Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation
US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas
In June 2013 a two year old was found floating face down in the water at Sugden Regional Park. A mere five minutes had elapsed without adult supervision. Had this child been wearing a life jacket, it would not have been a life altering event.
Our Coalition reacted to this child’s death by organizing a life jacket loaner program entitled “Kids Don’t Float— Give Them Something That Does” modeled after an initiative adopted in Alaska in 1997.
The goal of the program is to save children’s’ lives by making loaner life jackets available at popular beach/lake sites for children and adults to borrow and return. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 93, 95 and 96 check monthly the condition of the lifejackets. If any lifejackets are missing or in disrepair, they will be replaced.