AUSTIN — AUSTIN -- The Travis County Sheriff’s Office said three people have drowned while swimming in Lake Travis this month alone. All three were not wearing life jackets.

To keep people safe in and on the water, there are free life jackets at three parks on the lake. They are located at Mansfield Dam Park, Lakeway City Park and Bob Wentz Park.

Several people picked up jackets from the Mansfield Dam station in about an hour's time.

The organization Colin's Hope supplies the jackets.

“Not everyone will think about going and buying one," said Alissa Magrum, executive director of Colin's Hope. "If we put the life jacket loaner stations up, then people get to the park, they need to use one, they need to borrow one (or) they don't have the right size. They can borrow it, use it, return it, and someone else can do the same."

The organization started 10 years ago after 4-year-old Colin Holst drowned in a public pool.

They have stations at six Central Texas parks, including Hamilton Pool, after two drownings in 2016 shut it down.

Colin's Hope wants to see more people wearing life jackets, especially on boats.

"It's children and adults alike,” said Magrum. “No one is drown-proof."

Regina Saranglao used the jackets for her 3- and 5-year-olds at Mansfield Dam Park on Lake Travis.

“We're just very cautious,” she said.

She said her 3-year-old had a close call just yesterday at their friends' pool.

“We were packing up when we turned like a second and he just jumped in,” said Saranglao. “It took us like five seconds for us to process that he did that, and then my husband had to jump in with his phone and everything and snatch him out.”

Saranglao said she has witnessed too many near-drownings, so life jackets are a must.

"We just always want to take that extra step and be careful with the kids,” said Saranglao.

Colin's Hope said it hopes to get a life jacket station funded at Lake Pflugerville, McKinney Falls and Reimers Ranch Ranch.

Colin's Hope has a quiz on water safety you can take here.


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