It’s Paddle Safe Week – Stay Safe and Well on the Water

Safe Choices Start with You!

As the great summer weather continues, now is an excellent time to get out on the water. This year, as an added bonus, whether you’re kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding on a lake or in Puget Sound, it’s not only enjoyable – it’s a socially distant thing to do! 

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation declaring July 19-25, 2020, “Paddle Safe Week” for the State of Washington. Seattle Fire joins with safety partners in boating, law enforcement and recreation to raise awareness on the basic rules of the water as well as tips to keep yourself and others safe. 

Just recently on July 10, Seattle Fire’s Rescue Swimmers were called into action and successfully conducted a surface water rescue of a man struggling in the water along Seattle’s waterfront on Alaskan Way. Rescue swimmers quickly pulled the patient from the water, got him into the Fire Boat to begin treatment, then paramedics took him to Harborview Hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery.  

As with many things in life, knowledge and a few good choices go a long way. Check out the links below to learn more about how to make sure your recreational experience on the water is a safe one: 

  • Safety on the water starts with you. Whether you kayak, canoe, or SUP — (Stand Up Paddleboard), legal requirements are minimal and do not maximize your chance of survival in an accident. Research and carry essential gear for safety, emergency communications and comfort.  
  • Know before you go! Life jackets are required by law on all vessels, including kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards. It’s up to you to wear it! Paddlesport experts choose to wear a life jacket for a reason—life jackets save lives.  
  • Pre-plan and study your paddle route before going out on the water. Even if you’re only going out for a brief time, always file a float plan. Tell someone who, where, when, what to do if you don’t return on time. Make this part of your routine every time you go paddling.  
  • Paddlesports is fun but comes with risks. Know how to swim and learn essential information from the experts. Find a local club, outfitter, take a class or sign up for lessons. There are even online courses!  

For more tips and to learn more, go to: paddlesafewa.org. #PaddlePrepared #PaddleSafeWeek