Sun Country Tours offers free life jacket program

Sun Country Tours is providing free life jackets for children and adults who float the river from its Riverbend Park kiosk. Life jackets are included in all river float tube and stand up paddle board rentals from Sun Country Tours, and they are also provided free of charge to river users who do not rent from the award-winning outfitter. More than 240 life jackets were loaned to the public by Sun Country Tours in the past week.

“As stewards of the Deschutes River, in conjunction with the Bend Park and Recreation District, we are proud to offer a free life jacket program,” said Sun Country Tours and Mt. Bachelor

President and General Manager John McLeod. “We value our role in the community and are happy to loan any extra life jackets we have to the general public.”

As part of its operations in Riverbend Park in the Old Mill District of Bend, Sun Country Tours communicates Bend Park and Recreation District’s guidelines for floating the river safely and responsibly, as well as navigating the floater passageway at the new Bend Whitewater Park.

Floaters are encouraged to exit the river at the Colorado Avenue Bridge prior to the floater passage, which features Class I and II rapids, to observe others navigate it and then evaluate the comfort and ability of everyone in their group. There is a walkway through McKay Park for those not comfortable floating through the passage, or river users who have small children with them.

“Each person choosing to wear a life jacket is making a day on the river a better and safer experience for everyone,” said Don Horton, executive director of Bend Park and Recreation

District. “The District’s park stewards and volunteers are at Riverbend Park daily to encourage use of Sun Country Tours’ life jacket program.”

Please visit the Bend Park and Recreation District website for more information on floating through the passageway. For more information about Sun Country Tours, please go to

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