The Los Angeles City Council set aside $28,000 Tuesday to start a jet-ski program designed to rescue people from the city's flood control channels, where about six people drown each year.
The council's action, which earmarks money from the storm water pollution abatement fund, gives the go-ahead to the Fire Department to begin using six small jet-ski type boats in the city's flood channels during rescues.
The craft, which cost between $6,000 and $11,000 apiece, will be loaned to the city by the manufacturer. The city is responsible for paying for maintenance, making minor modifications and purchasing three trailers to haul the craft to rescue sites.
The city will also pay to train rescue personnel on the jet skis.
Once it's up and running, the program will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 annually, said Karen Constine, an aide to Councilwoman Laura Chick, who proposed the program.
"This is extremely important because it allows us to achieve mobility in water that we've never had before," Constine said.
"It provides the city with a new option in rescuing people."