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Life jacket loaner program to start at Mountain Island Lake

Gaston County officials are starting a life jacket loaner program for boaters and swimmers at Mountain Island Lake as part of an initiative to promote safety on the water.

To kick off Boating Safety Week, officials on May 16 will unveil the new loan kiosks installed at the Riverbend Access Area of Mountain Island Lake. Boaters and swimmers at the lake can borrow life jackets from the kiosks, which will operate under the honor system, if they don’t have their own.

At the 2 p.m. unveiling ceremony, Gaston County police will take about the importance of wearing a life jacket and will demonstrate how to make sure it fits properly.

The loaner program was the vision of the Keene Family Foundation of South Carolina. Two Keene relatives drowned while boating without life jackets.

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