The Water Safety Council was presented the 2004 National Water Safety Congress Midwest regional award. The NWSC Midwest region covers eleven Midwestern states. The award recognizes the WSC for its contributions as to water safety issues and programs. It is the highest regional award presented by the National Water Safety Congress.
Two highway billboards were installed to encourage kids to wear life jackets.
Billboard space and artwork for 2005 and 2006 were funded in part by a grant from the National Water Safety Congress and the National Safe Boating Council in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety /Aquatic Resource Trust Fund.
A second WSC supplied Lake Patrol boat was purchased and equipped for the Okoboji interconnected lakes. The new boat is a Baja Intruder law enforcement model that was equipped by the Water Safety Council with special equipment: 1) a multi-channel two-way radio for contact with rescue, ambulance, fire, and city, county, and state law enforcement and 2) a Global Positioning System (GPS) for determining accurate positions on the water and 3) a Sonar unit for locating objects under water. The boat is 25-feet in length to handle the wind waves and boat chop found on East and West Okoboji. This boat joins three DNR provided patrol boats and the first Water Safety Council provided boat at the Gull Point Lake Patrol Station.
During the 2005 Iowa legislative session the Water Safety Council along with great community support was successful in providing increased DNR funding for water safety and fighting invasive species. A modest increase in boat registration fees is providing the increased support.
An Information Kiosk was installed between the State Pier and the Preservation Plaza (Green Space) in the Arnolds Park Amusement Park to consolidate water safety and water quality messages.
Made float coats available to Dickinson County law enforcement officers. In many cases police or deputy sheriff officers are the first to arrive at the scene of water emergencies since they are the closest to the scene. Float coats are a padded jacket that also acts as a Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
Purchased an identical GPS and Sonar unit for the Lakes Area Fire & Rescue Boat to the one used on the new 25-foot Baja Intruder Lake Patrol boat. The use of identical units will reduce training time and will facilitate comparing readings between the two boats.