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Paddle Safety

An Important Note On Paddle Safety

By Ellen DaSilva FSO-PE Flotilla 22-02

The Coast Guard is emphasizing the importance of boater safety for paddlers, including kayaks, stand up paddle boards and canoes due to an increase in boating fatalities on these crafts last year. Recently, we had 2 fatalities in one year on kayaks in our area of operations, from Oyster Bay to Port Jefferson. As I sit on Prices Bend beach, watching kayakers launch, and I would estimate 50 percent do not have life jackets and 25 per cent are not wearing them. The Coast Guard is terminating paddlers who do not have the proper safety equipment. So what is required? A life jacket for all, a whistle and a light. Not much of an expense to save a life. The Coast Guard Auxiliary will be providing reflector stickers for the paddles and a whistle through their vessel safety checks very shortly as part of our mission for recreational boating safety. Let's prevent any more fatalities by wearing life jackets on all paddle craft.