GRAND LAKE, Colo. (CBS4) – There’s a new place to borrow life jackets at Grand Lake, and it’s all thanks to a family who turned tragedy into a chance to help others.

Christopher Mullinex, 31, drowned at Grand Lake a year ago. His family’s mission is now to prevent other drownings.

“It has been devastating. I lost my son,” Mullinex’s mother Dee said.

Mullinex was an avid swimmer, boater and fisherman.

“These things can happen. We weren’t prepared,” Dee said.

Christopher Mullinex (credit: CBS)

Christopher Mullinex (credit: CBS)

In the year since the accident the Mullinex family created a water rescue fund.

“The community support, the support of the Grand Lake fire department, of the sheriff’s department, of our community, has helped the healing process for all of us and has helped to have Christopher’s name live on in something positive,” Dee said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The latest project is a life jacket loaner station.

“We have a ton of visitors from the Front Range, even out of state, who come up, and that’s what this is for,” said Mike Arntson, a firefighter with the Grand Lake Fire Protection District.

“It doesn’t matter what a great swimmer you are. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it. Things happen out of the blue,” Dee said.

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