By Frank Lanier
The Coast Guard has recently discovered problems
with corroded snap hook spring clips on four models of Type I Coast Guard
Approved Lifejackets manufactured by Cal-June (a.k.a. Jim Buoy). Each uses a
metal snap hook to D-ring assembly to close the jackets and the problem lies
with the spring clip, a thin piece of metal attached to the base of the hook
that keeps it from disengaging once connected to the D-ring.
The spring clips for the affected models were
made from the wrong material and as such corrode and fall off, in some cases
after less than a year of service. Once this happens, the snap hooks can easily
become disconnected from the D-ring, allowing the life jacket to open.
Cal-June has acknowledged the problem and is committed to replacing the
defective hooks free of charge to lifejacket owners. According to the company, a
total of 5,371 lifejackets having the defective snap hooks were manufactured and
sold between October 1, 2002 and March 15, 2004. If your lifejacket falls within
the lot numbers listed below, contact Cal-June Inc. at (818) 761-3516 or e-mail
them at jim-buoy.com to receive replacement snap hooks (there is no need to
return the lifejacket itself). The company will need the model number, lot
number, quantity of lifejackets requiring replacements and a shipping address.
Instructions for replacing the snap hooks can be viewed at
The entire snap hook (including the clip) should
be of non-magnetic materials such as bronze or stainless steel. A simple way to
verify this is by touching them with a small magnet – if it is attracted to or
attaches to the clip, the snap hook assembly must be replaced.
Lot Numbers having Defective Snap Hooks
1556, 1558, 1560, 1561, 1562, 1563, 1564, 1565, 1566, 1567
1570, 1573, 1574, 1575, 1576
Model numbers: 601 Adult, 603 Child, SO-1 Adult SOLAS, SO-2 Child SOLAS