Life Jacket Loaner Station opens at Wall Lake

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 10:27 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -It has already been a fatal summer on the water at Wall Lake. Two people have drowned in the lake west of Sioux Falls. Now, a new addition there could help save lives. And it has come just in time for the Labor Day weekend.

“We had the first drowning out here in June that was following several rescues by people who lived on the lake and people who had gotten blown out into the middle of the lake on floaties,” said Wall Lake Resident Bunny Timpe.

“It has been very difficult. After the first one, the second one was particularly heartbreaking because it was a child.”

After months of hard work from Friends of Wall Lake, local businesses, and Minnehaha County, residents can now rest a little easier. The new Life Jacket Loaner Station is open just in time for the holiday weekend.

“When I first saw it, I thought that was a very, very good idea. I think all youngsters should have a floatation device on them,” said Robert Bruce, a Sioux Falls Resident.

It’s based on the honor system. Anyone can take a life jacket to use while in the water. Then they return it when they are done.

Keith Gabriel and his family are on vacation from Omaha, Nebraska.

“I think it’s a great idea as far as some of the small lakes in Omaha and around Lincoln and other places, I’ve never seen anything like this. So I think it’s really good. It will probably get the people out here and they’ll feel safer,” said Gabriel.

He hopes the idea catches on.

If you’d like to help keep the Wall Lake Life Jacket Loaner Station up and running you can contact Minnehaha Emergency Management or Bunny Timpe at 605-951-6729.

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