Staying afloat
Living on borrowed time without borrowed life-jackets

Derek Neary
Northern News Services

FORT SIMPSON (Jul 24/98) - Not only can they save your life, but they're stylish too.

Anyone heading out on the water can borrow the latest in life-jackets or personal floatation devices (PFDs) from the recreation department in Fort Simpson.

The safety equipment comes in a variety of color schemes and designs.

"With the new look, I think they'll appeal to the youth of Fort Simpson," RCMP Const. Grant MacDonald said after assessing the assortment of gear.

The Department of Transportation has provided a floater-suit, three floater jackets, two pairs of floater ski pants, three floater bomber-jackets, three youth life-jackets and a bunch of whistles as part of the GNWT's latest safe boating campaign.

"I think it's a wonderful gesture on behalf of the Department of Transportation," MacDonald said. "I encourage all boaters to wear them."

Anyone looking to use the safety equipment will have to sign a waiver form at the rec office in case of loss or damage but there is no fee involved. The loan periods and the number of pieces borrowed will depend on individual circumstances, according to rec director Scott McAdam.

"We'll see what the public is looking for," he said. "Hopefully, it will save some lives. That's what it's all about."

The life-jackets and PFDs are now the property of Fort Simpson and will be available on a year-round basis.