City of Salem Starts Summer Life Jacket Program

Posted on May 29, 2021

Salem, Ore. – The City of Salem Fire Department and Parks have begun the annual life jacket program for the community at Wallace Marine Park. The stations provide life jackets in various sizes for the public to borrow while on the Willamette River, along with instructions on how to fit them properly.

The City also reminds the public that water temperatures remain dangerously cold this time of year, despite the warm and sunny weather.

Salem Fire would like to remind people to be aware that the water temperature may be colder than you think and can cause a rapid drop in your body temperature.

According to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, cold water can kill you in less than a minute. A rapid drop in body temperature can impact your ability to reach shore. They recommend everyone follow these five Golden Rules:

  1. Always Wear Your Personal Flotation Device
  2. Always Dress For The Water Temperature
  3. Field-Test Your Gear
  4. Swim-Test Your Gear Every Time You Go Out
  5. Imagine The Worst That Could Happen and Plan For It

Residents are asked to not leave their personal or old life jackets at the life jacket stations.

The City of Salem started the Life Jacket Loaner Program in August 2017 to promote water safety on the Willamette River. According to the North American Safe Boating Council, “Wearing a life jacket is the simplest strategy to stay safe while enjoying your favorite recreational water activity.”

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