The Question: what is a leading cause of death for paddlers in small crafts such as canoes, kayaks, and rafts? Answer: The correct answer is Drowning.
Paddlers who venture out on the water in small water crafts such as kayaks, canoes, and even rafts are often under the impression that they are safe without undertaking any safety measures. They assume that since the size of their vessel is small, the risk of any fatal accident associated with it is small as well. This is why we rarely see an amateur or experienced paddler take full safety measures before going into the water.
The harsh truth, however, is that paddlers are twice more likely to encounter grave accidents than those on larger vessels. The lack of safety measures in smaller vessels is a big contributor to this statistic. The most common reason for a paddler riding a small watercraft to die is by drowning. Paddlers are seen to often go out without any proper life-saving devices such as life jackets, and that is a direct cause as to why they are at risk of drowning and consequently losing their lives.
Thus, no matter how small the watercraft is, peddlers must consider appropriate safety measures before they go into deep waters.
Safety Measures to Minimise the Risk of Drowning Rafts, Canoes, and Kayaks
Whether you are in a shallow water body, a river, lake, or in the open ocean, you must always practice suitable safety measures that will save your life if any mishap occurs while paddling. To avoid serious injuries to your body or even death, here are some safety measures that all paddlers must consider before jumping to paddle:
1. Life jackets
Lifejackets are the single most important thing when it comes to safety measures. Wearing or carrying a life jacket when you are out in the water must be your top priority. You can also have suitable flotation devices apart from a jacket near you to help you or your companions if an accident occurs.
2. Don’t Paddle Alone
It is always recommended to paddlers not to travel alone. Travelling alone will minimise the chances of you being rescued if you are met with a mishap. Always try to paddle with someone, a friend or acquaintance or even with a small group of paddlers. You can help each other out in case something bad happens.
3. Check the Weather
Before you venture out to paddle, make sure that you know the weather conditions of that day. Try to avoid going paddling on especially windy and rainy days. Moreover, ensure that you are appropriately prepared in case the weather suddenly changes.
4. Practice Paddling
Before going into deep rivers or oceans, practice in shallow waters under the supervision of someone. If you are a beginner, make sure that you have proper supervision for the first few times you paddling in open waters.
5. Pick an Adequately Sized Water Craft
A common mistake that leads to unstable watercraft is overloading it. The size of your water raft must be ideal for your size and belongings.
It is quite common for paddlers to encounter life-threatening accidents while on the water. These safety tips will help paddlers to avoid such accidents in future.