Teen inspired to prevent drownings builds 2 life jacket loaner stands at local lake

WACO, Texas (KWTX) In 2019, 64 children have drowned across the state of Texas.

Many had two common denominators: the victims thought it could happen to them and they weren't wearing life jackets.

A local Eagle Scout candidate decided to try to make a difference with his Eagle Scout project.

That's one of the final tasks required to move from Boy Scout to Eagle Scout.

Dalton Collier, 17, decided to build two life jacket loaner stands for swim areas on Lake Waco.

"I wanted to give them the option. They don't have to take a chance when they go swimming at the lake. I hope they feel more comfortable about coming to the lake, knowing this option is available." Collier said.

Dana Gage lost her 15-year-old son to a swimming accident a couple of years ago.

Since then she and her husband started a non-profit called the LV Project. Among other things, they provide life jackets to those who need them.

She said she is thrilled with Collier's project.

"Just because you know how to swim is not protection. We lose good swimmers far too often. Conner was a water bug, grew up at the lake. It just took one bad jump, one bad gulp and it was over, and a life jacket would have saved him." she said.

The life jacket loaner stations are located at the swim beaches at Twin Bridges Park.

They are free to use and will be available as long as the weather is conducive to swimming.

"Take a life jacket. Make sure it's buckled up right. Swim all you want and when you're done, put it back where you got it. Save another life" Collier said.