The Nevada Department of Wildlife using funds donated by Barrick Gold is insuring boaters remain safe on Nevada's waters by providing free life jackets and marine fire extinguishers on Saturday, July 12. They will be in front of Elko Broadcasting at 1800 Idaho Street in Elko between 9:00 am and noon.
To receive a free life jacket or marine fire extinguisher, game wardens and education personnel from NDOW are asking boaters to bring in a used life jacket to trade. They specifically want old, outdated, ill fitting or damaged life jackets for trade, and new jackets will be available in all sizes from infant to adult.
"A lot of people don't wear life jackets while boating because the jacket is too small, damaged or isn't comfortable," said Fred Esparza, game warden lieutenant in Elko. "We are distributing quality vest-type jackets to show people that life jackets can be comfortable to wear and look good."
Boaters can also bring in outdated or discharged fire extinguishers to trade for a new one while supplies last as well as receiving safety information from game wardens and NDOW personnel. The event is aimed primarily at improving boating safety, but anyone with a life jacket or marine fire extinguisher to trade will be given a new one, while supplies last.
In addition, children are especially vulnerable to drowning, so game wardens will be looking to properly fit life jackets on children who show up. NDOW will also demonstrate to parents the proper way to fit a life jacket. Children often outgrow life jackets, even in a single boating season, so parents are encouraged to bring in older and smaller children's jackets to trade in.
"Life jackets save lives," explains Esparza. "Every year we see drowning fatalaties and whether on a boat or in open water, a life jacket literally means the difference between life and death."
NDOW is the state agency primarily responsible for boating safety. For the third year in a row, the agency reached out to Barrick Gold of North America to propose this community safety outreach event and Barrick quickly and generously agreed to sponsor the funds for the life jacket and fire extinguisher trade in.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org.