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.