Lake Safety and Information
Every year, Big Bear Lake serves as a summer hub for thousands of boaters, anglers, water skiers, swimmers and more! But with any activity, it's important to observe the risks present and make smart decisions for your safety and the safety of others.
Be Aware of Risks. Be Prepared for Risks.
Life Vest Laws
California Life Vest Law states:
Under California law, every child under 13 years of age on a moving recreational vessel of any length must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket in serviceable condition and of a type and size appropriate for the conditions and the activity. Expect to abide by these laws when renting any form of water craft from a Big Bear marina or when children are present on a private vessel. Lake Patrol is diligent in enforcing rules and regulations on Big Bear Lake.
Big Bear Lake Rules & Regulations state:
During recreational towing activities, waterskiers/wakeboarders/wake surfers/jet skiers/tube riders/etc. shall wear a personal floatation device.
From the Big Bear Municipal Water District:
In the summer months, swimming is permitted in Big Bear Lake at your own risk! There are NO lifeguards on duty and swimmers must stay within 50 feet of the shore or within 20 feet of a private dock. Swimming within the means of participating in water sports is also permitted with a life vest!
Cold Water Risks
Each year, Big Bear Lake sees tragic drownings. Water temps in Big Bear Lake are colder than you may realize. According to NOAA, survival time is greatly reduced for someone immersed in water below 70°F, which describes Big Bear Lake for most of the year. Cold water reduces body heat up to 25 times faster than cold air, and cold water shock can cause immediate loss of breathing control. Roughly 20% of victims die in the first minute of cold water shock. Wearing a life jacket significantly increases the chances of being located and saved.