KENTUCKY (6/8/12) – It’s summer and there is no better time to be out on the water. Canoeing can be serene and relaxing, or it can be a wild, exhilarating experience. You may consider yourself an expert paddler, but it is always good to review safety precautions to keep them fresh in your mind before going off on an adventure.
June is National Safety Month and SurfKY News will be bringing you safety tips throughout the month to keep you educated and prepared. Here is some information provided by the National Safety Council that may keep you from hurting yourself or even losing your life.
• Take a class before you take the plunge. Classes are fairly easy to find at various skill levels. Seasoned paddlers can show you basic safety skills, and teach you to recognize common river dangers.
• The American Canoe Association recommends that you canoe with a minimum of three people or two crafts, although most recreational canoeists enjoy canoeing in a single canoe by themselves or with a partner.
• All streams and rivers are different. Become as familiar as you can with any body of water you decide to tackle.
• Always bring extra drinking water and snacks. You never know when you might need them.
• Remember that even the most serene waters can hide unseen dangers. Always make sure to use good judgment, common sense, and preventative measures to insure you travel safely.
• Be ready to get wet. Always wear a life jacket. Canoes occasionally tip in the water if weight becomes unevenly distributed, or if you hit something below the water. Remember not to panic. Stay upstream of your watercraft to avoid getting pinned between the boat and other things, such as rocks. If your canoe tips in calm water, angle your way towards the shore instead of paddling straight towards it. Stay behind your canoe and hold onto it for floatation measures.
• Don’t take on too much too early. Progress gradually from one skill level to the next. Never take on a challenge you’re not sure you are ready for.
Information provided by the National Safety Council
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