Trenten Morris Remembered

Brynn Grimley writes:

It was just about eight months ago that we reported the drowning of Trenten Morris, a Klahowya Secondary School eighth grader who split his time between his mother’s house in Poulsbo and his father’s house in Port Orchard.

He had been swimming at Wildcat Lake at the end of July with friends and family. After his death the community was outraged that aid crews didn’t jump into the water to try and save him like people expected. Reporter Josh Farley covered a community meeting that was held by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue shortly after Trenten’s death. In that meeting CKFR Chief Ken Burdette explained why things happened the way they did. (You can read that story here).

That meeting prompted some people in the community to want to do more to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again. The idea to build a life-jacket loaner board for Wildcat Lake, and supply it with life-jackets suitable for infants up to adults, was born. (Read my story about this here).

On Saturday (April 3), roughly 100 people gathered at Wildcat Lake to celebrate the installation of the life-jacket loaner board and to remember Trenten. His family played a role in the board’s installation (his mom Amber donated money from a fund set up in Trenten’s name to the project). This blog post includes photos from the event, taken by CKFR spokeswoman Theresa MacLennan.

In an e-mail MacLennan wrote this:

“Trenten’s family, the Kitsap Medical Society, Safe Kids Kitsap, Kitsap County Parks and Recreation, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, and the Long Lake Bass Club all worked to establish the life-jacket loaner board as a way to ensure other families have access to life-jackets and understand that drowning is quick, silent and can happen to even strong swimmers. Throughout the swim season, twelve life-jackets of varying sizes will be hanging and available for use at Wildcat Lake. Life-jacket loaner boards are also available at Buck and Horseshoe Lakes. The groups hope to establish life-jacket loaner boards at least six other swim areas including Long Lake and Island Lake.”

While it’s sad that it took Trenten’s drowning to prompt the installation of this board at Wildcat Lake, it would be even worse if someone who needed the life-jacket didn’t use it and met the same fate this summer. The jackets are there for a reason, please use them, and please don’t steal them.

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