Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Virtual Paddlecraft Safety Training Course


Submitted Photos

Nothing beats a great day on the water, especially if you use a Kayak or Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP). Paddlesport participation has grown dramatically in recent years. Low entry cost, easy storage, less maintenance, and flexibility are some of the reasons many people have decided to become paddlers, compared to power or sailing craft. To provide instruction on the proper safety equipment and practices, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 95 on Marco Island offers a Paddlecraft Safety Training course.

Zoom Class May 5, 2021 6 PM – 9 PM

With 22.9 million Americans participating in paddling activities each year, there are an unfortunate number of paddling-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The United States Coast Guard reported that Paddlesport accidents from 2015 to 2017 resulted in 1,624 injuries and 758 deaths, but the number of incidents that go unreported is substantially larger. Although some accidents are inevitable, there are simple ways to increase safety and reduce risk. For example, 30 percent of paddlers do not own a personal flotation device, and 26 percent do not file a float plan.

Photo courtesy of USCG Auxiliary AUXPAD resources

While paddling activities appear low risk, an alarmingly high 29 percent of incidents reported from 2015 to 2017 resulted in a fatality. Reasons for Paddlesport incidents vary, but more than three-quarters of reported incidents occur when there is clear visibility.

To help you reduce your chance of becoming a statistic, please consider taking the Paddlesport Safety Training course offered by US Coast Guard Flotilla 95, Marco Island. 

This course will be taught by Don Rice, a USCG Certified Instructor and Vessel Examiner. Don owned and operated Dungeness Kayaking for 13 years, which is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, and he was an instructor and trip leader for the Seattle Mountaineers Sea Kayaking Club. Don has over 30 years of Canoe and Kayak experience in the 10,000 Islands, the Pacific Northwest – northern California, Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia – as well as Mexico and Belize. Don is a retired ACA certified level four coastal kayaking instructor and a kayak trip leader for Paradise Coast Paddlers Club, Southwest Florida Kayaking, and the Kayak Adventure Group. 

The Course fee is $25. For registration information contact Joe Riccio at

To schedule your FREE Vessel Safety Check (kayaks too!) please call: John Moyer, 239-248-7078 or Coast Guard Auxiliary Station – Flotilla 95, 239-394-5911 or email John at

For those interested in joining Flotilla 95, USCG Auxiliary, please call Doug Johnson 239-207-5608.


Submitted Photos | Joe Riccio QR Code


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