New Life Jacket Program Makes Woodward Reservoir Safer

Courtesy of California Division of Boating and Waterways

Boaters at Woodward Reservoir are much safer thanks to an innovative program launched by Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Eugene Day, a former Coastguardsman and member of the Sheriff’s Water Enforcement Team.

Woodward Reservoir is a popular Stanislaus County location to beat the heat, and Day was concerned about the needless and oftentimes preventable drownings that have occurred at the 2,900-acre reservoir.

Through a combined effort between the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, County Parks and Recreation, and the California Division of Boating and Waterways, Day and Parks and Recreation employee Elizabeth Bristow obtained more than 100 lifejackets via a grant from the Division of Boating and Waterways.

“This is yet another example of great teamwork and partnerships”, said Sheriff Adam Christianson “Working together, we’re actively educating swimmers and others about water safety and we’re preventing unnecessary, preventable drownings. I’m very proud of the team”.

The life jackets are available to be loaned out to Woodward Reservoir visitors who don’t have flotation devices or don’t know how to swim, and are available from 12 noon to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday at the old Marina Store at Woodward.

The Sheriff’s STARS Volunteers help staff the lifesaving Life Jacket Program.

“There are still some obstacles to overcome, but the program is off to a very good start”, said Deputy Bob Berndt, a member of the Water Enforcement Team. “It’s awesome to work with people within our department and within the County who’re willing to work together to prevent drownings and promote water safety”.

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