Tuesday, December 31, 2013

AAA Carolinas good at promoting car safety - not so good with paddling safety!


First, for the record, I salute AAA Carolinas advocacy for highway safety legislation, automotive public policy, and doing their part to help make our roads safer for motorists. One of the benefits of being a AAA Carolinas member, in addition to utilizing their great road side assistance program, is receiving their bi-monthly Go Magazine. Unfortunately, AAA Carolinas fell short on safety in the cover photo of  the January - February  2014 issue, by showing a couple sea kayaking off the island of Kauai without wearing PFDs!

One of the most essential pieces of safety gear that persons should wear, at all times, while paddling, is a personal flotation device or PFD.  According to the United States Coast Guard, almost 75% of all persons killed in boating incidents drowned. Of those, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.  In my opinion, a PFD is NOT optional safety gear, but mandatory. Both Rachel and myself always wear a properly fitted PFD when paddling and I urge all my readers to do the same!

I fired off an email to the Editor-in-Chief, Angela Daley to get her side of this story and within 10 minutes of sending it, I received the following reply! Wow. Fast response!

"Hi Mike. I appreciate your input on our cover photo and agree with your endorsement of personal floatation devices for watersports. I too am an avid kayaker here in the Charlotte area and always wear a lifejacket, so it certainly was an oversight on our part. Sounds like you're doing some great things encouraging safe kayaking — I will have to read more of your blog for ideas and places to kayak! Have a great new year, Angela."

It's encouraging when organizations like AAA Carolinas step up and admit to oversights like their recent Go Magazine cover photo. I also wish Angela a great new year and safe paddling adventures in 2014!

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  1. Go Mike and keep going on this topic. Kudos to you for caring and sending emails to magazines that promote unsafe kayaking habits in their advertisements. Magazines prefer sexy pictures of people in swim suits, PFDs cover that up, or are ignorant of paddling safety. It is nice that this magazine got back to you, now let's see if they clean up their act. But, the damage is already done with so many ads like this out there, year after year. There needs to be legislation on advertising of paddling sports. The SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) industry advertising is even worse. Cheers from Canada!

    1. Hey Peggy! I agree 100% with your comments and rest assured I will continue to elevate and highlight water safety and the need for wearing PFDs while on the water - here on Durhamblogger!


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