News Item Details

Botetourt County Hosts Life Jacket Loaner Stand in Town of Buchanan


Fincastle, VA – The Botetourt County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, along with The Upper James River Water Trail Committee are pleased to announce the opening of a new Life Jacket Loaner Stand located at the Public Boat Landing located in the Town of Buchanan beside Buchanan Town Park and Twin River Outfitters. This stand holds life jackets provided courtesy of the Sea Tow Foundation that boaters and swimmers may borrow to replace missing or damaged personal flotation devices (PFDs), or use for extra guests on board their boats. The life jackets are free to be borrowed and are available in a variety of sizes ranging from infant to adult.
The Sea Tow Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting safe boating practices. One of the ways that the Sea Tow Foundation does this is through their Life Jacket Loaner Program. Since 2008, the Sea Tow Foundation has distributed over 29,000 life jackets to boaters across the country. The majority of these life jackets have been purchased through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, as administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. As part of the current grant, the Sea Tow Foundation accepted applications from non-profit organizations and boating agencies around the country to host a life jacket loaner program in their local areas. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism was accepted as one of the hosts.
“Drowning can be prevented by wearing a life jacket and this life jacket stand provided by the Sea Tow Foundation will make jackets easily accessible for river-goers to borrow”, stated Richard “Pete” Peters, Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for Botetourt County.
The U.S. Coast Guard requires that a properly fitting life jacket be available for every passenger aboard a boat, and that anyone under age 13 wear one at all times while on board and outside of an enclosed cabin. The Coast Guard strongly recommends that everyone always wear a life jacket while a boat is underway.
“This life jacket loaner stand will be popular with local boaters who forgot to pack their life jackets or realize that their kids have outgrown their old life jackets,” said Sea Tow Foundation Board member Kristen Frohnhoefer. “People of all ages can easily find a free life jacket that fits to wear for their day on the water, then return it for someone else to use the next day.”
About the Sea Tow Foundation
In 2007, Sea Tow Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer created the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – to promote safe boating practices. The Foundation’s goal is to reduce accidents, fatalities and property damage related to recreational boating. For more information, please visit
About Sea Tow
Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation's leading on-water assistance provider for boaters. Established in 1983 by Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow serves members inland to the coast throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit Sea Tow also offers free boating safety information including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow's Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit
About The Upper James River Water Trail
In 2008, The Upper James River Water Trail Committee was formed and comprised of local river enthusiasts, business owners, county staff and educators to develop a plan to increase public access to one of Botetourt County’s most treasured assets, the James River. Through a strategic analysis process, the committee developed a plan to improve, enhance and preserve the environmental, historic, economic development and recreational opportunities on the river for future generations to enjoy.  For more information, visit

For more information, contact

Richard "Pete" Peters, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

(540) 473-8326