RCM-SAR Station 25 Salt Spring, The Gulf Island Marine Rescue Society and the Harbour Authority of Salt Spring are pleased to announced two new PFD loaner stations, built out of driftwood by renowned local carpenter Josh Hart. The new boating safety initiative, called "Kids Don't Float," makes PFDs available for boaters to borrow for their junior passengers.
The first station was completed and unveiled at Centennial Dock in Ganges Harbour on April 25th, with a second one added at Kanaka Dock, also in Ganges, in May. According to Devin Milner, who monitors the loaner stations, PFDs are loaned out daily and return rates were 100% in the initial few weeks of operation.
"A lot of people are impressed. I've heard them ask why it wasn't done a long time ago, it's such a good idea," says Milner.
Funding for this project is made possible by the support of the Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island (HASSI), the Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society and the generosity of Chris Garrigan who is dedicating this initiative in memory of his daughter Jenny.
An unveiling ceremony was held on April 25th, well-attended by the local press and members of the public and crew and staff of RCM-SAR 25 and HASSI. Peter Grove spoke on behalf of the Islands Trust and shared his thoughts on the importance of marine safety and rescue work to the Salt Spring community, as well as memories of the spirit and generosity of Garrigan family.