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Life Jacket Trade-Ins At Hensley & Eastman Lakes

CALIFORNIA – California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) announces the 15th Annual Life Jacket Trade-In. Events will be held statewide on Saturday, May 17 from noon to 2 p.m. One life jacket per family, while supplies last.

The life jacket trade-in provides recreational boaters the opportunity for life jackets to be inspected by professionals. If a life jacket is found to be outgrown or unserviceable, a new, properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is given in exchange.

These events are being conducted in connection with National Safe Boating Week (May 17-23), which aims to spread the message about life jacket wear and other life-saving boating practices.

Of the boating fatalities that occurred in 2009, 67 percent of the victims drowned. Of that group, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Don’t become a statistic, wear a life jacket. Life jackets are the proven number one way to save a life in the event of a sudden, unexpected capsizing or fall overboard. Wear a life jacket. Please use this page as a resource for life jacket information.

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.

Fit Facts

  • 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.

Important Reminders

  • Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
  • Double check that your jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.
  • 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.

CA State Parks Division of Boating and WaterwaysLocations in Madera County for a life jacket trade-in are:

– Eastman Lake (USACE)
32175 Road 29

– Hensley Lake (USACE)
Buck Ridge and Hidden View Boat Launch Ramps

For more information visit the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways website.

This year’s partners include California State Parks, Drowning Accident Rescue Team, Kohl’s Department Store, Radio Disney, Sacramento Safe Kids Coalition, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Solano County Sheriff’s Department, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, UC Davis Regents and the US Power Squadrons.

*Some info reprinted from California Division of Boating and Waterways website

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