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July 18, 2018     West Seattle Herald
Paddle craft safety emphasized in West Seattle demonstrations
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Paddle craft safety emphasized in West Seattle demonstrations Skip to main content July 18, 2018|68 °F Partly Cloudy Search Search Secondary links Subscribe Advertise Contact Us Westside Seattle if (typeof googletag !== "undefined") { googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag. }); } NewsBallardHighlineWest SeattlePolice BlotterBallardHighlineWest SeattleCalendarBallardHighlineWest SeattleFeaturesBallardHighlineWest SeattleArts & EntertainmentBallardHighlineWest SeattleObitsBallardHighlineWest SeattleSportsBallardHighlineWest SeattleEatBallardHighlineWest SeattleTrafficBallardWest SeattleDwellHealthMoneyOpinion Recent Articles Paddle craft safety emphasized in West Seattle demonstrations Update: California Sea Lion stranded near Seacrest Park has been removed West Valley ends West Seattle state experience Commentary: Jesus loves me? Next seven story building in the Junction set for early design guidance meeting Aug. 2 Ballard homeowner fires gun at burglar; Gunshot victim shows up at hospital ten minutes later if (typeof googletag !== "undefined") { googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag. }); } Trending Paddle craft safety emphasized in West Seattle demonstrations Update: California Sea Lion stranded near Seacrest Park has been removed West Valley ends West Seattle state experience Commentary: Jesus loves me? Next seven story building in the Junction set for early design guidance meeting Aug. 2 Ballard homeowner fires gun at burglar; Gunshot victim shows up at hospital ten minutes later Paddle craft safety emphasized in West Seattle demonstrations Paddle craft safety emphasized in West Seattle demonstrations if (typeof googletag !== "undefined") { googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag. }); } Jim Virgin, Chairman - Paddle Advisory Committee at Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission was being helped by members of the US Coast Guard in a demonstration in Elliott Bay of paddle craft safety on Wednesday July 18. Photo by Patrick Robinson   Wed, 07/18/2018 As the popularity of paddlesports grows and rates of accidents increase, Washington State Parks’ Boating Program and boating enforcement agencies are partnering to lead a statewide awareness campaign to promote safe paddling practices. That program was demonstrated just off shore from Seacrest Park on Wednesday as Greg Whittaker of Alki Kayak and Jim Virgin Chairman of the Paddle Advisory Committee of the Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission demonstrated various safety issues regarding paddle craft.  According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2017 statistics, 138 people died while kayaking or canoeing, and 88 percent of those fatalities were due to drowning. Since 2012, close to half of all boating fatalities in Washington state involved paddlecraft, and there have been six kayaking fatalities reported this year. Earlier this year, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation declaring July 20 through 28 Paddle Safe Week. A U.S. Coast Guard and Seattle Police Department rescue vessel were used as observation and assistance platforms during the demonstrations. Virgin and Whittaker first demonstrated the proper procedure for an overturned kayak, with one assisting. First being sure the person in the water is safe, then lifting the kayak, tipping it over to drain any water taken on, then holding it to permit reboarding. Next was a scenario in which a man was unable to reboard his vessel and was taken aboard another as two Coast Guard members lifted him by having him face their vessel and lifting him from under his arms. Finally a fall and reboarding from a paddleboard was shown. Virgin, an experienced boater and marine safety expert wore a dry suit throughout the demonstration to keep him warm in the 50 degree water. Derek Van Dyke, Education Coordinator for the Safe Boating Program said, "When you paddle, you are going to become a swimmer at some point. A mindset of a boater is that I'm a boater not a swimmer. Are you prepared and equipped to swim in 50 degree water. That's the big mistake. With paddle board you have a whole other set of issues. A lot of casual paddle boarders do not realize that they are a boat or a vessel and they have minimum safety equipment which is a sounding device (a waterproof whistle) and a personal floatation device.  We give out thousands of whistles a year and it's $99 ticket if you don't have a whistle on a paddleboard." Also required on board a paddle board is a leash to keep the board close should you fall off. Van Dyke pointed out that aboard a paddle board the maximum wind speed an experienced person should be out in is 15 knots (around 18 mph) since commonly paddle boarders will head down wind, and may not consider heading back into the wind where paddling can be much more difficult. ------------------------------------------- Jim Virgin in the water signals he's ok to Greg Whittaker. Photo by Patrick Robinson Making sure Jim was safe, Greg moved to grab the other kayak. Photo by Patrick Robinson Jim held on to Greg's kayak. Photo by Patrick Robinson Greg tipped Jim's kayak to empty the water. Photo by Patrick Robinson Jim reboards his kayak as Greg holds it. Photo by Patrick Robinson Jim demonstrated being unable to get back to his kayak. Photo by Patrick Robinson Using the end of a paddle Coast Guard members pull Jim to their boat. Photo by Patrick Robinson Jim is pulled aboard the Coast Guard vessel. Photo by Patrick Robinson Jim demonstrates falling off a paddleboard. Photo by Patrick Robinson Going in the drink. Photo by Patrick Robinson After getting back on board Jim signals he's ok with a pat on the head. Photo by Patrick Robinson West Seattle Herald Add new comment Your name Comment About text formats CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. 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