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How to avoid paddling accidents on crowded waterways

Memorial Day marks the launch of boating and kayaking season across the United States this year, however, the waterways will look a little out of the ordinary – it’s likely that they’re more crowded than ever.

Affected The ongoing epidemic2020 has been a massive success 35 percent increase In new and used boat purchases by first-time boat buyers as hundreds of thousands of Americans sought fresh air, escape and take refuge on the water. Sell ​​kayak and paddle board I also jumped, Which means that thousands of new enthusiasts will be unleashed on the country’s waterways as use reaches its peak this season, and many of them are woefully unprepared to navigate the crowds.

“Everyone needs to be more vigilant and educated about boat safety, especially with 415,000 new buyers joining the boat association for the first time last year,” said Jim Emmons, CEO of the Water Sports Foundation. “It is more important than ever to take extra care to keep you, your friends and family safe while enjoying the boating activities.”

Surfing behind a skateboard at Clear Lake in Orlando, Florida. Water Sports Foundation

While sales have risen for all types of recreational boats – from paddleboards and kayaks to jet skis, speed boats, sailboats and even yachts – COVID-19 mandates have halted boating lessons offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Associate, Force Squadron, and more. Private boat schools.

With boating season approaching and lessons returning in many states, boat safety stakeholders such as the Water Sports Foundation are issuing a provocative day to advance and promote boating and kayaking education and safety.

“Fortunately, live classes are reopening in many communities,” Emmons said, adding that there is a variety of rowing classes and new virtual boats that anyone can easily access online, adding that List these resources Available on the WSF website.

As interest and demand swelled, the forum highlighted a key concern: the lack of safety education and equipment available through the large sporting goods stores that dominate retail sales. While buyers can find a lot of inexpensive rowing boats in these stores, good luck getting any helpful advice on where to paddle or How to keep yourself safe. Emmons notes that many retail giants don’t stock Safety equipment required To be carried by skiers, such as a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, whistle or other signaling device, or a light for paddling at night. As a result, new skiers often are transported into the water completely unprepared for potential danger areas.

“Roughly 75 percent of kayaking sports casualties involve recreational kayaks when the operator has fewer than 100 hours of experience,” Emmons said. “About 45 percent occur with less than 10 hours of experience.” Typical scenarios include fallen runners-up. Experience at sea or capsizing without knowing how to re-board the boat, and exacerbated by the shock of cold water. “

As with all boating activities, Emmons cites the need for personal investment in rowing / boating education, in addition to owning and using Safety equipment and equipment required. His simple recommendation? Find a local kayaking store: The best and best place to get invaluable equipment and advice from knowledgeable experts on how to use it.

“One of our main goals is to educate hikers and boaters, and encourage them to invest in boating education so that they are safe and confident in the water, which leads to more fun for everyone,” added Emmons.

Go deeper with more information to protect yourself and your crew on Memorial Day and throughout the summer with these Top boat safety tips.

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Written by Joseph

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