Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Donates Life Jackets to Low Income Families

MODESTO -- Family fun in the water can quickly turn into tragedy.

That’s what happened weeks ago when Josue Sanchez went for a swim in Knights Ferry. His body was found weeks later.

Just days ago, at Woodward Reservoir, John Nelson also drowned.

According to officials, both men were not wearing life jackets.

On Friday, thanks to grant funding, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department gave away 300 life jackets to low income families.

“It’s all about keeping them safe," Alexis Depuy of Stockton said. "This is a great program.”

The father of two visited the sheriff’s booth with his two teenage daughters. He said after the recent drownings the region has seen, this program is a godsend.

“It’s scary because I have kids, so, you know, I wouldn’t want anything to happen to our kids, of course, and it’s scary to see other little kids out there unsafe,” Depuy said.

Rena Lepard, a coordinator with Safe Kids Stanislaus County said most drownings happen in the summer months. So, they also educated the public along with handing out life jackets.

“So we all came as a collaborative group to come and teach some water education safety to the children as well as give them the life jackets,” Lepard explained.

All 300 life jackets were given away but if you are visiting the Woodward reservoir, there are loaner jackets you may borrow.