Paddle Sports Safety Training for 2022 | News


Our waterways offer a unique opportunity to spend a day on the water enjoying the scenery in environmentally friendly modes of transport – by kayak or stand-up paddle (SUP). To enhance your safety when operating a paddle steamer, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 95, on Marco Island offers a “Paddle Sports Safety Training” Classes.

Course date: January 6, 2022, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Site: USCG Auxiliary Station for Flotilla 95, Caxambas Park – 905 Collier Court, Marco Island

With 22.9 million Americans participating in paddling activities each year, there are an unfortunate number of paddling-related accidents, injuries and deaths. The United States Coast Guard reported that paddle sports accidents between 2015 and 2017 resulted in 1,624 injuries and 758 deaths, but the number of unreported incidents is significantly higher.

Although some accidents are inevitable, there are simple ways to increase safety and reduce risk. For example, 30 percent of paddlers do not have a personal flotation device and 26 percent do not file a flotation device.

Although paddling activities appear to be low risk, an alarming rate of 29% of incidents reported from 2015 to 2017 resulted in one fatality. In 2020, 85% of kayakers who drowned were not wearing a PFD.

The reasons for paddling sports incidents vary, but more than three-quarters of reported incidents occur when visibility is clear.

To help reduce your chances of becoming a statistic, please consider taking a Paddle Sports Safety Training Course offered by the US Coast Guard’s Marco Island 95 Flotilla.

This course will be taught by Don Rice, USCG Certified Instructor and Vessel Examiner. Don has over 30 years of canoeing and kayaking experience on the 10,000 Islands and the Pacific Northwest. Don has an ACA Level Four Coastal Instructor training and a Kayak Tour Leader for Paradise Coast Paddlers Club, Southwest Florida Kayaking, and Kayak Adventure.

Group course price: $ 35

Registration information: Contact Joe Riccio

[email protected]

Future course dates: February 24, 2022

To program your FREE Checking for vessel safety, please call: John Moyer, 239-248-7078 or Coast Guard Auxiliary Station – Flotilla 95, 239-394-5911 or email John at [email protected]

For those interested in joining Flotilla 95, USCG Auxiliary, please contact Joe Grazzini at 239-272-9493 or [email protected]

Saving Lives Since 1939. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary – A Proud Tradition, A Dignified Mission. For more information, please visit

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