Before you go canoeing this summer, there are some important things you should know to keep yourself safe. Canoeing is a lot of fun, but if you don’t know the dangers, you could get into trouble on the water. Here are some tips for keeping dry and steering clear of danger:
CANOE SAFETY TIPS:
TO GET INTO YOUR CANOE:
- HAVE SOMEONE HOLD THE CANOE STEADY – you don’t want to tip the canoe before you even get out on the water!
- CROUCH LOW – keep your knees bent and
- GRAB THE SIDES OF THE CANOE FOR BALANCE as you walk to your seat
- ALWAYS WALK ALONG THE CENTER – keeping your feet on the centerline will help keep the canoe from rocking.
- STAY LOW – do not stand up or walk in your canoe when you are away from shore.
- ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET – you never know when you might fall out or tip over unexpectedly.
- AVOID SUDDEN OR JERKY MOVEMENTS – rocking from side to side could cause the canoe to tip over.
- BE AWARE OF THE CURRENTS IN THE WATER – you don’t want to end up floating farther downstream than you planned. If the current starts to pull you along faster or you see lots of rocks in the water ahead of you paddle away from them or paddle towards the shore.
- ALWAYS SIT ON THE SEATS OR IN THE CENTER OF THE CANOE – sitting on the side of a canoe will cause it to tip over.
- STAY AWAY FROM LOW HANGING TREES AND BRANCHES NEAR THE SHORE.
- DO NOT CANOE IN BAD WEATHER.
- AVOID LETTING BIG WAVES HIT THE SIDE OF YOUR CANOE – always try to keep your canoe at a right angle to the waves otherwise the wave might push your canoe over.
IF YOUR CANOE TIPS OVER:
- DON’T PANIC
- STAY WITH YOUR CANOE
- PADDLE OR PUSH YOUR CANOE TO SHORE – with the help of the other person in your canoe, you can get out in shallow water and flip the canoe to dump out the water and climb in. Your canoe will float even if its full of water until you can get to shore to empty it.
- ALWAYS BRING ALONG EXTRA CLOTHING IN A WATERPROOF CONTAINER– you want to be prepared in case your canoe tips or the weather changes.
BE SURE TO BRING THE PROPER EQUIPTMENT:
- SUN PROTECTION – hats, sunscreen, long sleeves and pants
- FIRST AID KIT
- PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER
- LIFE VESTS
- MAP – be sure you know where you are so you do not get lost!
- TIE ALL YOUR EQUIPMENT TO THE CANOE – put your equipment into a waterproof bag to keep it dry and tie it to one of the center beams in the canoe so that you don’t lose everything if your canoe tips over.
- DO NOT LITTER – carry out everything you bring in – the animals don’t like a messy home.
Once you learn these important tips, you’ll be set to go! So grab your paddle and life jacket, and, always remember to canoe safely and have fun on the water!