Ebbetts Pass Fire District has partnered with Cal Boating to make life jackets available to the public on a loan basis. Ebbetts Pass Fire District has life jackets available for children and adults. An individual or family can check out life jackets for a day or weekend simply by completing a loan form. Look for the sign, “Life Jacket Loan Station” at Ebbetts Pass Fire District Station #1 in Arnold.
The U. S. Coast Guard requires recreational vessels (boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.) to have a wearable life jacket for each person aboard. These life jackets must be:
- U. S. Coast Guard approved
- The proper size for the intended wearer
- In good and serviceable condition
- Properly stowed (readily accessible)
All persons under 13 years of age in a water craft 26 feet or less while underway on the waters of California shall wear a United States Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.
How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
Looking for a life jacket ? Today’s jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. No matter which life jacket you choose, be sure it’s right for YOU, your planned activities, and the water conditions you expect to encounter.
Try It On
- Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight.
- Make sure the jacket is properly zipped or buckled.
- Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up.
- If there is excess room above the openings and the jacket rides up over your chin or face, it does NOT fit properly. A snug fit in these areas signals a properly fitting life jacket.
- It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life jacket.
- Jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous.
- Jackets that are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat.
- Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
- Double check that your jacket is appropriate for your favourite water activity.
- Take the time to ensure a proper fit.
- Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.
- On recreational vessels underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin.
Changes to the California Life Jacket Boating Law
The California boating law now requires all children under the age of 13 to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
Life Jackets and the Law
For a boat less than 16 feet long, or a canoe or a kayak of any length:
- Everyone on board a personal watercraft (popularly known as “jet skis”) and anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- A Coast Guard-approved life jacket must be carried for each person on board. If stored, these life jackets must be readily available (easy to get to), and you must show passengers the location of life jackets and other safety equipment.
- Anyone using an underwater maneuvering device is exempt from wearing a life jacket. An underwater maneuvering device is any towed or self-powered device designed for underwater use that a person can pilot through diving, turning and surfacing moves.
For a boat 16 feet or longer, you must carry for each passenger:
- The same requirements as above and one immediately accessible (easy-to-reach) Type IV device designed for throwing – such as a ring, cushion or horseshoe buoy for each boat.