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Life jacket trees installed in Watkins Glen by local boating club

May 21 through May 27 is National Safe Boating Week. To help ensure a safe water experience for area residents and visitors, the Finger Lakes Chapter of America’s Boating Club has installed two life jacket trees in Watkins Glen.

The structures are located at the Chute Park boat launch on the canal as well as the kayak and canoe launch at the southeast end of Seneca Lake. They hold life jackets that can be borrowed and returned at no cost.

Life jacket tree at Chute Park canal launch. Provided

Projects like offering life jackets on loan are crucial to boating safety, said Jim McGinnis, education officer for ABC-FLX, formerly known as the Seneca Sail and Power Squadron.

The Watkins Glen-based boating club offers a wide variety of in-person, on the water, and online classes to promote boating safety. The club started its life jacket project in 2019.

America’s Boating Club is the nation’s largest non-profit boating organization, with nearly 30,000 members in more than 350 clubs. The local chapter boasts members from across the Finger Lakes who enjoy their time on the water in vessels ranging from kayaks to power boats to sailboats. Boat ownership is not a membership requirement.

Head to America’s Boating Club–Finger Lakes Chapter’s website or Facebook page for more information.