Always wear your PFD when paddling! Lots of unforseen things can happen while you are on the water. Weather and water conditions can change rapidly. You can accidently hit your head during a "going duck" incident. Your kayak can strike underwater obstacles or you can slip into very cold water where hypothermia becomes a real danger. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reports that in 9 out of every 10 recreational boat drownings, the victims were NOT wearing PFDs. The USCG recommends that anyone operating a human-powered watercraft wear a PFD and all children under 13 wear one at all times while in a vessel.
I promptly fired off an email to Visit Florida.com... pointing out their PFD omissions... and asked that they do a better job in the future to highlight safe paddling practices. Hopefully the message gets through to them.
Mike, a fellow yaker who maintains River Bottle Blues - a blog devoted to helping clean up North Carolina's waterways, made the following excellent comment on the importance of wearing PFDs:
- Mike, - River Bottle Blues