“Borrow a life jacket” stations set up on Lake Michigan beach

SOUTH HAVEN, MI — New public lifejacket stations have been installed on South Haven beaches, in an effort to help increase safety during a summer when multiple drownings in Lake Michigan have occurred.

The new lifejacket lending stations were set up on the city’s North and South Beaches on Thursday August 4 and Friday August 5, according to a statement from City Manager Kate Hosier.

The life jacket loan stations were donated by Safe Kids Greater South Haven of Bronson South Haven Hospital.

Stations have life jackets in several sizes, from infant to adult. They are free to use on beaches and must be returned to another person for use, the city said.

The loaner life jackets are part of the city’s ongoing efforts to educate and provide tools for water safety, Hosier said in a statement posted on his blog.

The new safety measures are added following drownings at locations along the Lake Michigan shoreline this summer, including two people who drowned after entering the water on July 13 in South Haven.

Most recently, on Monday afternoon August 8, two unresponsive people were pulled from the water on a beach in South Haven.

Safe Kids Greater South Haven is led by Bronson South Haven Hospital, which provides dedicated and caring staff, operational support and other resources to help achieve our common goal of keeping children safe, according to the organization.

Based on community needs, the coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car seat audits, safety workshops and sports clinics, that help parents and caregivers prevent injuries in children, the group’s website says.

South Haven lifeguards search for an adult and child missing in rough waters on North Beach on Wednesday July 13. The child was later found in the water and CPR began (Courtesy South Haven Area Emergency Services)

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