Lake Iowa Park could soon see a life jacket station

Lake Iowa Park
Lake Iowa Park

IOWA PARK, TX (KAUZ) - Friends of the family of a seven-year-old boy who died after he was found in Lake Iowa Park in early June are trying to prevent it from happening to someone else.

They have reached out to city leaders in Iowa Park about adding a life jacket station at Lake Iowa Park.

The city believes it is an interesting concept that they are willing to get behind.

"There's a lot of children swimming at the lakes and a lot of them don't wear life jackets," Resident, Edward Ewing said.

Ewing spends much of his time fishing at the lakes across Iowa Park with his grandson.

He said what he sometimes see's troubles him and that a life jacket station is a good idea.

"They can be walking along the lake and next thing you know they go down," Ewing said. "If they can't swim, that's very important for people to realize."

On Monday, Iowa Park City Councilors showed support for the project that would be privately funded.

However, City Manager Jerry Flemming said if it is successful, the city might consider investing in more of them.

"We really don't know what the demand is out there at this point," Flemming said. "If this project goes through it will help tell us. If there are a half dozen life vests and they're in use all the time, that's an indicator maybe there's demand for more."

Lisa Brenner likes the idea but does not want it to lead to kids being forced to wear life jackets.

"I think families can choose for themselves what they think is appropriate for their family and their children," Brenner said. "I just don't think it should be a requirement of anyone."

Archer County Game Warden Richard Key believes it is important.

"The big thing for us is life jackets, especially on children," Key said. "It's required equipment for children under 13 to be wearing a life jacket at all times when on a vessel. It doesn't matter what kind of vessel you're on; a boat, canoe, kayak, anything."

"I think this is a very interesting concept that other property owners, whether private or public, who have lakes may consider," Flemming said.

He said the city is still trying to learn more details about this project and he added that nothing is set in stone at this point.

So far this year 33 kids have drowned in Texas, nine of those were in lakes or rivers.

Key said it is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths among children.

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