Free life jackets vanish at lake

July 15, 2008 7:41:58 AM PDT
The honor system is barely staying afloat at a lake in this Tacoma suburb.

Twenty life jackets were made available to be borrowed - and returned - by swimmers at Spanaway Lake, which has no lifeguards.

Within four days of the June 27 dedication ceremony, only two were left in their cabinet, said Matt Holm, assistant chief of Central Pierce Fire and Rescue.

The fire district bought 20 more life jackets, thanks to a donation from a couple whose grandchildren had been able to swim because of the program.

The new jackets were put in the cabinet on July 8 - and by Monday morning only five were left, Holm said.

Other parks in Pierce County have similar programs, Holm said, but they have lost only a few life jackets over the course of an entire summer.