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Oswego launches life jacket loaner program, free daily rentals

The City of Oswego announced it has launched its Life Jacket Loaner Program, which offers free daily rental of United States Coast Guard-approved Type III life jackets in children, youth and adult sizes.

All 70 life jackets for the loaner program were donated by the Pauldine family of Oswego.

“Our brother John drowned on the east bank of the Oswego River near the Port of Oswego dock when he was just 21 years old,” said Anthony Pauldine, owner of Canal Commons. “When our family heard that the city was developing the loaner program, we thought this would be a productive way to mark the 40th anniversary of his passing. We also hope that people will take advantage of this free rental opportunity to be safe on the water and ‘wear it’.”

The five surviving Pauldine family members and current Oswego residents who donated to the loaner program include Mary Plummer, Ralph Pauldine, Joseph Pauldine, Anthony Pauldine, James Pauldine and Michael Pauldine. The Pauldine family presented its donation check to the City of Oswego Common Council June 11.

The Wear It! Oswego water safety campaign spurred the Life Jacket Loaner Program.

“We researched similar programs throughout the country, and are very excited to work with the City of Oswego to make the Life Jacket Loaner Program a reality. It is great that Oswego residents and tourists alike will have the opportunity to be safe on local waterways thanks to this free Life Jacket Loaner Program,” said Joanne Walsh of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, a Wear It! Oswego campaign collaborator.

Life jackets are now available for rental daily at the Wright’s Landing Marina.

In order to be loaned a life jacket, borrowers must sign a waiver form and leave a valid driver’s license. Each borrower is required to sign the waiver form (except children under the age of 18, who require permission and signature of a parent or legal guardian).

Borrowed life jackets must be returned by the end of each day to the same location.

Hours at Wright’s Landing Marina when the Life Jacket Loaner Program operate are as follows:

• May 1 – Sept. 30 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, upon request only (potential borrowers will need to call the City of Oswego Fire Department at 343-2161 in order to be loaned a life jacket).

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