On July 20 between 10am and 3pm, Kawartha lakes Power and Sail Squadron members will be at the Bobcaygeon Locks and Buckeye Marine asking boaters to donate new and used life jackets. It's all for Operation Life Jacket (OLJ), a program developed by the Canadian Ranger foundation and the Canadian Safe Boating Council to improve boating safety in Northern Canada.

Life jackets and education are needed in First Nations communities in Northern Canada, where supply is limited and the cost of buying a life jacket is prohibitive. Life jackets, when they are available, can cost in excess of $100 each. The death rate from drowning in the northern regions continues to be significantly higher than anywhere else in Canada, at nearly seven times the national average.

Once collected, life jackets will be distributed with the expertise of volunteer Canadian Rangers. During distribution, educational programs covering life jackets, cold water, reboarding and the need for a trip plan will be taught by Rangers in remote and isolated communities.

Boaters can drop off their new or used life jackets on Saturday, July 20 between 10am and 3pm at the Bobcaygeon Lock and Buckeye Marine. A gift of one jacket may be a gift of life.

For more information, visit www.cps-ecp.ca.

Local NewsDeb Crossen