Xandryn Frost

Xandryn Frost

On guard for kids

PORT MCNEILL—It may still be fairly new, but the Coast Guard Auxiliary is already making its presence felt with the introduction of a program aimed at keeping kids safe in and around the water.

PORT MCNEILL—It may still be fairly new, but the Coast Guard Auxiliary is already making its presence felt with the introduction of a program aimed at keeping kids safe in and around the water.

“We started July 22 with six children’s life-jackets — up to 90-lbs — and basically they’re free life-jackets for people to sign out and take, whether they’re doing dock walking or going out in a boat,” said Aaron Frost, of the auxiliary project in Port McNeill.

Everything so far points to the program, called Kids Don’t Float, becoming a success.

“Over that weekend I visited a few times and there were two or three life jackets missing at all times,” Frost said.

“On Sunday night when I went down to the municipal dock I saw they’d all been returned and someone donated two more life-jackets.”

The auxiliary team — Unit 50 — has been around for just about a year now.

“We haven’t started any rescues yet — we’re still in training — but we’re hoping to be up and running in November.”

“The Kids Don’t Float program has 15 lifejackets, but could use more, said Frost.

“We’re always looking for more — if we could expand this program so we have 30 lifejackets, that would be great.”

Frost said he’ll keep an eye on the program this year, with a notion to expand it.

“If the program becomes successful and we have a lot of lifejackets, I’d like to institute the program in Port Hardy as well,” he said.