Sign up/in with USCG AUX


Paddlecraft Info

"A Paddler's Guide to Safety"


Paddle sports like canoeing and kayaking are the fastest growing segment of recreational boating. Now, there is a course available to address the unique needs of this audience.

Kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards (SUPs) and other paddle craft offer great recreation on the water, but you must understand and prepare for the risks. The resources presented here can help you be prepared.

The course, " A PADDLER'S GUIDE TO SAFETY", provides understanding equipment, legal requirements, what to do in emergencies, and more. The course developed by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in cooperation with the American Canoe Association. This is an onshore-only class, taught by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Our partner, the American Canoe Association, offers extensive training in various paddle sports. Click the link to view training videos and find local instruction.

ACA logo

Vessel Safety Checks:
You can schedule a vessel safety check (VSC) for kayaks and other paddlecraft. These inspections address legal requirements for your craft, safety equipment, as well as recommended safe practices. If your craft meets minimum requirements, a VSC Decal is issued indicating that you are in full compliance with federal and state boating laws. Most important, this is a good opportunity to discuss your questions about paddlecraft safety.

Location/Contact Information:
If you live in or near the Greater Rochester, New York area, Flotilla 42 offers safety courses for paddle sports enthusiasts.

      USCG Auxiliary
      Flotilla 4-2 (Charlotte)
      520 River Street
      Rochester, NY 14612

If you have any questions about Paddle Sports safety or training, contact the following the lead Flotilla Paddle Sports Instructor:

    Sue Lander, FSO-PAD:

Paddle Responsibly

If Found - Contact:
When the Coast Guard discovers an unmanned paddlecraft adrift, they have no way of knowing whether it washed off a dock or was separated from its owner during the course of a boating accident. The IF FOUND sticker provides a place for small craft owners to display their name, phone & cell phone numbers. The Coast Guard can use this information to determine whether an emergency exists, and to arrange for return of property to its owner.


Join Us!

If you are an experienced paddler and would like to help promote paddlecraft safety, we have a place for you in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Contact us today to discuss how you can get involved.


Paddle Craft Links

Part of the satisfaction and fun of paddle sports is learning. The more you know, the better you get and the safer you'll be. Here are just a few website that can help you learn more about paddle sports. If you have a particular favorite, non-commercial site, let us know and we'll review it to possibly add it here.

Paddlecraft Class Finder
Public Education Classes are offered nationwide by our various flotillas in two modalities, virtual, and classroom. The paddlecraft course name is: "PADDLER'S GUIDE to SAFETY". Just follow follow the directions to find out if there any classes in your area. If not, contact the person above. To get to the Class Finder, Click Here!

Paddle Responsibly Videos
The United States Coast Guard has partnered with to produce these short videos that illustrate proper gear, equipment, strokes, trip planning, recovering from a capsize and how to call for help. To view these videos, Click Here!

Paddlecraft Safety & AUXPAD
Paddlesport participation has grown dramatically in recent years. Low entry cost, easy storage, less maintenance and flexibility are some of the reasons many people have decided to become paddlers, compared to power or sailing craft, Click Here!

Rules of the Road, What Paddlers Need to Know
Paddlers should be aware of a few “Rules of the Road” when sharing resources with other marine traffic. Importantly, keep a proper lookout, and remember to be courteous to other boaters and law enforcement officers. They’re there to help you to be safe and have fun. To download a copy of this brochure, Click Here!

Cold Water Safety
You may not be planning for a swim, but you should always be aware of the water temperature and dress for immersion when you go paddling.  To gain some knowledge about Cold Water Safety, Click Here!

Paddler's Safety Checklist
Paddlers should be aware of making sure that they have all necessary equipment to be safe when ventureing out on a paddling venture, be it a paddle around a pond or a paddle for several miles. To download a copy of this brochure, Click Here!

Paddle Craft Documents

The primary mission of the AUXPAD program is to increase boating safety outreach, promote life jacket wear, and promote compliance with Coast Guard-required safety equipment within the paddle craft community. To download a copy of this document, Click Here!