The event marked the official launch the Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program sponsored by leading on-water assistance provider Sea Tow, the non-profit Sea Tow Foundation, Katcef Brothers and Anheuser-Busch. Katcef Brothers presented the Sea Tow Foundation with a $5,000 check toward the new program at the press conference.
“Boating is a major industry in the Chesapeake Bay region so the promotion of water safety is a primary priority and responsibility for us,” said Neal Katcef, president of Katcef Brothers, an Annapolis Anheuser-Busch distributor for more than 80 years. “The Sea Tow Life Jacket Loaner program is a proven tool to encourage fun, responsible times. We are proud to be a partner with the Sea Tow Foundation in its ongoing effort to make sure boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime in the Chesapeake Bay region.”
“We are proud to support the Sea Tow Foundation and its Life Jacket Loaner Station Program, which has already impacted the lives of more than 15,000 people. By wearing life jackets and designating a skipper, we can all help ensure even more boaters and passengers enjoy their time on the water safely,” said Carol Huebner, Region Director for Corporate Social Responsibility in the Northeast, Anheuser-Busch.
Each Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stand will be stocked with life jackets boaters may borrow for free for the day. As a reminder, life jackets only work when you wear them.
“We are happy to bring the Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program to the Annapolis area,” said Capt. Dave DuVall, owner of Sea Tow Central Chesapeake, which covers a 20-mile radius around Annapolis. “The stands will remain open throughout the summer until the boating season ends in late fall.”
The five new Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner stands will be located throughout Anne Arundel County.
Since 2008, the non-profit Sea Tow Foundation has distributed nearly 22,000 life jackets to boaters across the country. The life jackets have been purchased through grant funding from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, as administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as through individual and corporate donations. The life jackets are distributed to local Sea Tow Captains, boating agencies and other non-profit organizations, who make them available to boaters free of charge at nearly 200 Life Jacket Loaner Stands throughout the country.
“All boaters should ensure that they have enough life jackets for everyone onboard and that the life jackets fit properly before heading out on the water,” said Gail R. Kulp, C.A.E., executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “Boaters may borrow the life jackets at no cost and we only ask that they be returned at the end of the day so that they are available for others to use.”