The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has started a life jacket loaner program for children.
The sheriff’s office will distribute life jackets at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Gandy Boulevard Public Boat Ramp at 5108 West Gandy Blvd. as part of "Operation Safe Bay."
Florida law requires children 6 years old and younger must wear a life jacket on a boat less than 26 feet in length.
Deputies with the HCSO Marine Unit have found most boaters have more than enough life jackets on their boats except when a guest brings a child on board.
The life jackets will be available in two sizes:
· Less than 50 pounds
· From 50 pounds to 90 pounds
Later next week, crews will stock additional life jackets at Simmons Park Boat Ramp in Ruskin and Williams Park Boat Ramp in Riverview.
HCSO will distribute around 100 life jackets total.
Boaters will utilize an honor system and allowed to borrow life jackets to ensure the safety of each child. Once the boater returns to the ramp, the boater can return the vest for the next user.