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Group holds clinic to educate kayakers on water safety

Posted at 6:45 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 08:46:21-04

Summer may be winding down, but there is still plenty of time to hit the water.

With people still heading out there, one Mid-Michigan group wants to educate people on how to do it safely.

"Safety is paramount. Water always wins," kayaker Julie Wyatt said.

On Sunday, members of the Grand River Environmental Action Group or GREAT, teamed up with Quiet World Sports, the Coast Guard, Krupa's Boats and the Jackson County Conservation District to educate people on staying safe while kayaking. Those who participated today say that besides wearing a life jacket, learning how to climb back into your kayak if it capsizes is vital.

"I see that there are other potential issues that can create tragedy as well. So learning those types of things so as to not create a tragedy," kayaker Helen Burnett said.

Experts say you can't plan to be in a kayaking accident, so it's always best to be prepared

"You absolutely should practice falling out of your kayak because you never know when it's going to happen. Its always going to be unexpected," instructor Kat Kulchinski said.

In addition, Kulchinski said that you should always tell someone where you are going, paddle with a buddy, and know your limits.

"Don't paddle in conditions that you can't swim out of, literally. Know your skills and work on building your skills and take lessons," she said.

The group hosts multiple classes throughout the summer in addition to river clean-ups. You can find out more by .