Water safety is extremely important - especially when it comes to our children. Lake Gaston property owners often have visits from friends and family, only to find they don't have enough or the right size life jackets to accommodate all. Thus the Children's PFD Life Jacket Loaner Program on Lake Gaston.
On a vessel that is underway (i.e. the vessel is not at anchor, nor tied to shore, nor is the vessel aground), children under 13 years of age must wear an appropriate U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket unless they are 1) below deck, or 2) within an enclosed cabin.
Life Jackets For Children Must Be The Proper Size By Weight...
Children's life jackets are approved for specific weight categories. Check the "User Weight" on the life jacket's informational label to see for which of the four following weight categories the PFD is approved: "less than 30 lbs. (infant)", "30 to 50 lbs. (child)", "less than 50 lbs. (infant)", or "50 to 90 lbs. (youth)".
Note that, unlike adult-sized PFDs, children's sizes do not specify a "chest size".
Children's PFDs come in either Type II or Type III styles. The Coast Guard's brochure pointedly recommends Type II PFDs for children in the "30 to 50 lbs. (child)" range, especially for non-swimmers. Many come with a crotch strap to help keep the PFD from "riding up" and prevent the child from "slipping out through the bottom" of PFDs not adequately secured around the child. Many come with oversized collars or pop-up pillows of flotation material to support the head and many PFDs have "grab straps" attached to such collars but even some without collars have "grab straps" (used mostly on smaller size PFDs). Such "grab straps" can not only be grasped by the bare hand but boat hooks can also be used to effect a capture of the "grab strap" loop. "Youth" sized PFDs often come in Type III styles and often without "grab straps".
Remember... Life Jackets Float, People Don't
We are pleased to offer a loaner life jacket to anyone visiting the lake. We ask that the life jacket be returned. Life jackets are available at the following locations: Americamps (Bracey, VA), Holly Grove Marina, Poplar Pointe Marine, The Club, Washburn's Marina (Henrico), Sherwood Forest, Eaton Ferry Marina (formerly Morning Side Marina), Outdoor World and Stonehoiuse Timber Lodge.
This program is possible thanks to the genorosity of our members.