Sports & Utility Boats (SUBs)
Important SUBs News
Coast Guard Launches Operation Paddle Smart
Posted: 01 May 2008 06:34 PM CDT
The district suffered the loss of 58 recreational boaters and paddlers in 2007;15 canoe and eight kayak fatalities accounted for 40 percent of the total. Since 1998 when the First Coast Guard District began tracking area-specific recreational fatalities, canoe and kayak fatalities have averaged 30 percent of yearly totals - more than double the national average.
Operation Paddle Smart, though it is an ongoing program, officially runs from May 1 to June 30. The operation is a multi-partnered endeavor developed by the First Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons to generate greater safety awareness among paddlers and small boat operators. The primary goals are to promote the life-saving benefit of wearing a life jacket, to highlight the immediate danger of sudden cold water immersion, to encourage boater and paddler education, and to stress the importance of being a responsible and prudent mariner.
“We’ve designed Operation Paddle Smart to be a focal point for organizations and retailers to work together to promote paddlesport safety, and as an information source for all paddlers and small boaters,” said Cdr. Tom Miller, Deputy Chief of the First Coast Guard District Prevention Division.
Operation Paddle Smart members, over the next two months, will be distributing paddlesport safety packets throughout the Northeast. Data will also be collected to determine what efforts worked best and to solicit feedback from paddlers on how the operation can be improved or how it has benefited them.
“The waters of the Northeast are extremely inviting but they temperamental and can be mercilessly unforgiving to unsuspecting and ill-prepared boaters and paddlers,” said Al Johnson, First Coast Guard District recreational boating specialist. “Operation Paddle Smart is a multi-partnered effort to educate and remind new, casual, and experienced paddlers to assess the risks, envision the consequences, and use our waters safely and be properly prepared for what can go wrong. Remember, when you’re on the water, you’re in command, and your personal safety and that of your passengers or paddling partners is paramount and your responsibility.”
Paddlers on the waters ofare required to wear a life jacket while underway through May 15, 2008; in through May 30 and in on the Saco River below the Hiram Dam through June 1.
Organizations, retailers and others interested in joining the Operation Paddle Smart partnership or paddlers seeking additional information may contact the Operation Paddle Smart hotline at.
Medalist Rebecca Giddens Joins with USCG, ACA to Promote Paddlesport Boating Safety
(From "You're In Command" 13 FEB 05)
WASHINGTON The U.S. Coast Guard and the American Canoe Association have announced a national public service campaign featuring Olympic silver medalist Rebecca Giddens. The unified effort will focus on saving the lives of paddlesport enthusiasts on the nation's waterways through the Coast Guard's most recent national outreach endeavor, the "You're in Command. Be Responsible. Boat Safely!" initiative.
Giddens' participation will include appearances in television, radio and print public service announcements, where she will stress the importance of always wearing a life jacket and never boating under the influence. Recent statistics show 86 percent of all boaters who drowned were not wearing a life jacket and one-third of fatal boating accidents involved alcohol.
Giddens, who recently won the silver medal in whitewater kayaking in Athens, Greece, filmed the public service announcements days before winning the Whitewater Slalom National Championships in Dickerson, Md. "I was involved in a boating incident when I was twelve," said Giddens, when asked about her motivation for supporting boating safety. "If I hadn't been wearing my life jacket I truly believe I would not be alive today."
Rear Adm. J.W. Underwood, Coast Guard director for operations policy and the "You're in Command" initiative said, "We are proud to have a national champion like Rebecca Giddens supporting our concern for the safety of paddlesport enthusiasts. As paddling has grown in popularity, the need for educating enthusiasts and beginners about the importance of boating safety has grown as well."
Nearly 80 percent of all reported fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction. Statistics also show fatalities for paddlers have risen from last year and are ranked second for most fatalities among all recreational boaters.
"The American Canoe Association is a strong believer in safe paddling. The best way to be a safe boater is to be a smart boater," says Pamela Dillon, ACA executive director "There are thousands of ACA certified instructors across the U.S. offering courses in communities, schools, and on local waterways. There's lots to learn and lots of fun to be had paddling and we encourage everyone to take a class, wear your life jacket, and be responsible on the water."
The U.S. Coast Guard and the American Canoe Association strongly believe that Rebecca Giddens’ support of this very important campaign will encourage people to realize that as a boat owner or operator, YOU are responsible for your safety and the safety of your passengers. Remember, You’re in Command. Boat Responsibly!
To view Public Service Announcements starring Rebecca Giddens and to download additional Boating Safety Material, please visit the You're in Command Resource Center.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free Vessel Safety Checks for all vessels, including Sport Utility Boats (SUB), as well as a full range of Boating Safety Courses.
Always remember to: Boat Smart From The Start, Wear Your Life-jacket.
For more information on boating responsibly, go to:
- Vessel Examinations
Send email to DC-V
Division Chief - Vessel
Send email to DVC-VE
Branch Chief - Sports &
Utility Boats Program
Send email to BC-VES
Pages prepared by: Robert Daraio, DVC-VE 2006
[Welcome] [DC-V Says...] [Idea Exchange] [Newsletters] [Staff] [DSO's Map] [Q & A] [Surveys] [Sports And Utility Boats Home]
Webmaster Paul Mayer, BC-VSW