Paddle Safe Week begins July 21

by Washington State Parks & Recreation | News Release
Photo from Washington State Parks e-newsletter. Photo from Washington State Parks e-newsletter.

From Washington State Parks

Six years ago, the Recreational Boating Safety Program at State Parks created Paddle Safe Week to promote safety while out on the water.

Paddlesports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are popular pastimes in our state, but they are not without risks. From July 21 to July 27, please watch for safety messages on our social media! As always:

Wear your life jacket. You are required by law to carry a well-fitted life jacket on board with you, even on a SUP. Wearing it is the best way to stay safe.

Be a role model in your community: know and demonstrate best safety practices. Help normalize paddling safety and encourage those around you to do the same.

Help share the message! Share safety tips with friends and family! Use hashtag #PaddleSafeWeek on all social media posts, and direct people to learn more.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed July 21-27 as Paddle Safe Week, for the sixth year in a row. Promoted by the Recreational Boating Safety program, Paddle Safe Week is a great opportunity to learn about safety awareness for next time you’re out on the water!

The single, most important thing is to always wear a life jacket out on the water. Some additional safety tips include:

Carry Essential Gear – Carry the essentials for safety, emergency communications and comfort.

Check and Understand the Weather – Check the weather frequently before and during each trip, keeping an eye on current conditions and forecasts.

File a Float Plan – Before heading out, study the intended route, and let someone know the plan.

Paddle with a Group – Go out with at least three people and stay close enough for visual or verbal contact.

Learn how to Self-rescue – Know how to get back in or on the craft. Paddlecraft are typically safe, but there’s a higher risk of going overboard and becoming an accidental swimmer.

Paddlers should know that kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) are subject to boating laws and regulations. Participants are urged to get educated about safety laws and best practices, boat with others, file a float plan and carry essential gear.