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Life jacket loaner stations were recently installed at Cherokee Mills Park and Field's Landing Park. Present at one of the dedications was, from left, Fire Marshal Chad Arp, Safe Kids Cherokee County Coordinator Lisa Grisham, Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency Parks Division Director Jordan Wood, Tow Boat U.S. Captain Hunter Baird and Chris Purvis, Lead Ranger at Allatoona Lake for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The installation of two new life jacket loaner stations led to a potentially lifesaving reminder.

Loaner stations were recently installed at both Cherokee Mills Park, located at 6900 Bells Ferry Road in Woodstock and Field’s Landing Park, located at 600 Fields Landing Drive in Canton. Provided through a partnership between Safe Kids Cherokee County and Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency, these new “use and return” stations join 11 other life jacket loaner stations around Lake Allatoona in Cherokee County.

On March 22, representatives from TowBoat U.S. responded to a call of a grounded vessel north of Cherokee Mills Park. Ruddy Morrow, the boat’s owner, was returning to the boat ramp in the park when he ran aground and was tossed overboard into Lake Allatoona. Although Morrow sustained no injuries, he credits the newly installed life jacket loaner station for keeping him safe.

“I noticed a sign with life jackets hanging on it, and it reminded me to put my life jacket on,” Morrow said in a news release.

Each of the new loaner stations include information provided by the BoatUS Foundation to help users correctly size and wear the life jackets. Cherokee Recreation and Parks will maintain the loaner stations at both Cherokee Mills Park and Field’s Landing Park.

“2020 was a record year for boaters, kayakers, canoers and paddle boarders on our lake, and it’s looking like 2021 will be no different. With the increase in people, there is always an increase in risk. We hope the addition of the new and easily accessible loaner stations will serve as a reminder to remain safe in the water,” Safe Kids Cherokee County Coordinator Lisa Grisham said in a statement. “The point is to use the life jackets when needed and use it correctly for the best protection.”

For more safety information, visit www.safekidscherokeecounty.org.

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