Wear It!

Water Safety Facts

Planning for a water sport getaway or event is great fun and requires pre- planning. The most important part of your adventure is safety!  Water safety cannot be taken lightly as drowning is high on the list of accidental deaths. These accidental deaths can be avoided with awareness and some basic education. (See accident video)

The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the 4 major risk factors are:

  • Lack of barriers and supervision for children.
  • Age and recreation in natural water settings. In natural water settings, most drowning accidents are among  those over 15 years of age.
  • Lack of Life Jacket use in recreational settings.
  • Alcohol Use.

The CDC also suggests 6 actions to take to help prevent drowning and water-related injuries.

  • Designate a responsible adult to provide supervision.
  • Use the buddy system.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  • Use Life Jackets.  Do not use air-filled or foam toys.


The American Canoe Society offers their top 5 safety tips:

  • Wear your Life Jacket.
  • Trip preparation and planning.
  • Cold water safety.
  • Know your limits.
  • Know your “Rules of the Road:”
    • Be aware of your surroundings.
    • The safest way to cross the path of a motor boat is to be patient and let the boat pass, then cross behind it. Do not attempt to beat the motor boat by “sprinting” in front of it.
    • Learn to read the buoy markers that are for guiding large vessels. They are red and green.  You will always be safest in a small craft to remain between the shoreline and the buoy. The water is calmer and the chances of trouble are much less.


The United States Coast Guard asks, “Going Paddling?  Know your limits!”

It is always best to receive some basic instruction before: coming aboard, paddling, steering, docking, and capsizing.   Most of the canoe and kayak outfitters can offer general instruction on the premises prior to your departure. It is also suggested you read the safety materials provided before you arrive. 

Boating safety courses are offered online providing video and written instruction. For a nominal fee, once you have completed the course you are certified.  


Water Safety is everyone’s business. Please take time to browse any of the resources below. Each site has spent enormous energy in providing all the information we need to know in order to keep ourselves and our loved one safe while enjoying a day out on the water.


Save a Life!  Wear Your Life Jacket!



American Canoe Association

United States Coast Guard Boating

Boating Safety Course, Safety Certification recognized by USCG 

Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries, Boat Safety Course

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Water Injuries and Drowning

American Academy of Pediatrics, Water Safety

American Heart Association, CPR classes