Headed out to the lake, but forgot the life jackets? The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has you covered

Flotation stations hold 17 life jackets

Mark Freie
May 10, 2019 - 1:05 pm

Credit: Mark Freie / WCCO Radio

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It happens.

You pack everything up for a nice day on the lake and you forget the most important piece to keep you and everyone else on the boat safe — the life jackets.

If you find yourself in this situation and you're headed to Lake Minnetonka or a few other lakes in Hennepin County, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and North Memorial Hospital has you covered with life jacket loaner boxes. The boxes, bettern known as Flotation Stations, have 17 life jackets ranging in sizes from infants to adults.

Life jackets are free to use and all you're asked to do is return them when you're finished boating.

Shane Magnuson is a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Water Patrol Lieutenant and encourages boaters to use the free resource.

"Our goal with this is to not only to save somebody's day on the lake if they forget a life jacket, or appropriately sized life jackets, but to save a life," Magnuson said.

Three flotation stations surround Lake Minnetonka including the Gray's Bay, Spring Park Bay and North Arm Bay boat landings. Three more stations are located at Medicine Lake, Independence Lake, and Bryant Lake

State law in Minnesota requires children 10 years old and under to wear a properly fitted life jacket while boating. A readily accessible life jacket is also required for each person onboard a boat.

Last year, there was one watercraft death in Hennepin County and 14 statewide according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Credit: Mark Freie / WCCO Radio

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