Big Bear Lake, CA, May 24, 2013 – The Department of Boating and Waterways, along with the Big Bear Municipal Water District and the Big Bear Lake Coast Guard Flotilla, will sponsor the 14th Annual Life Jacket Trade-In on Saturday, May 25th, from 10:00 a.m. until they run out of jackets.  The new location for the Life Jacket Trade-In is at the MWD East Boat Launch Ramp on North Shore Drive near Stanfield Cut-Off.  The life jacket trade-in gives water enthusiasts the opportunity to have their life jackets inspected by professionals.  If a life jacket is found to be outgrown or unserviceable, a new, properly fitted Coast Guard-approved life jacket will be given in exchange.

California boating law requires all children under the age of 13, every person on board a personal watercraft (Jet Ski) or being towed behind a vessel to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.  The law also requires life jackets to be carried on a vessel for every person on board.

It is worth repeating the importance for all water enthusiasts, no matter how young or old, to wear properly fitted Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Life jackets that are too small will not be able to keep bodies afloat. Life jackets that are too big can slip off or push up around the face area, which could be dangerous. Of the 53 boating fatalities reported to DBW last year, the 33 drowning victims were found without life jackets on.

More information about the life jacket trade-in or life jackets is available at