HELENA, Mont. -- After a drowning at Canyon Ferry Lake earlier this summer, water safety is particularly important for people both in Helena, and also across Montana.
The state's FWP division is partnering with DPHHS to provide free loaner life jackets near bodies of water across the state.
It's part of the "Kids Don’t Float" program, and over 300 life jackets have been donated to help promote water safety at Montana’s rivers and lakes. The program has existed for over 20 years, and they're emphasizing the need to be particularly aware of fast-moving currents, and not to swim out too deep.
Unfortunately, incidents both in or around bodies of water are one of the leading causes of death in both Montana and nationally, which is what prompted the idea to provide life jackets for kids at places where people otherwise might forget them or not use them at all.
The life jackets come at no cost to use, and you can put them back in shacks that have been built right next to bodies of water where available, so others can use them as well.