How to stay safe while kayaking

Summer kayaking safety tips

(WXYZ) - As the weather gets warmer and more people venture into summer sports, there comes a greater safety risk.

The summer season has already claimed multiple drownings, some of them from kayaking. Instructors with RKA Adventures say there are safety precautions you can take before you even get in the kayak, like dressing for the temperature of the water. 

“Especially this time of year when we’re hitting 90 degree days, but the water is still in the 60s. So if you aren’t able to standup or get to the shore easily, that’s a long time to be in the water and hypothermia can set in,” Tiffany Vandehey, owner of RKA Adventures said. 

Experts also insist on wearing life jackets. Plus, it is illegal not to. The most recent drowning involved a kayak, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

“More importantly, they’re not wearing them, and it’s not going to do much for you if you don’t have it on,” Vandehey said. 

Once you are in the water, you need to be prepared for possible capsizing. 

“Capsizes don’t happen that often but it’s just like wearing a seatbelt in your car. You want to be prepared in case that happens,” Vandehey said. 

Capsizing issues mainly occur in the sit-in style boats. To escape, put the paddle under your arm, lean forward and push off the sides of the boat like you are taking off a pair of pants. Experts suggest taking at least a one hour safety class before going kayaking on your own.

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