By Sigrid Pilgrim
As a representative on the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee, I was sent the newly developed Paddlesport Safety Brochure:
This is excellent, short, visual and to the point. Since it is hard to print out in the format given, I tracked down the origin and suggested that perhaps it could be made available with each canoe/kayak sold. Little did I know the background and what a great surprise
Thank you JIM EMMONS, Non-Profit Outreach Grant Director, Water Sports Foundation, Inc.
A Division of WSIA.net; ACA Instructors and US Coast Guard.
The pamphlet idea was developed during a 2015 safety meeting that I organized with the USCG and the top six recreational kayak manufacturers at the Outdoor Retailer trade showing Salt Lake City, UT. During the meeting, we got the manufacturers’ attention by sharing the raw data on deaths in America. Prior to this meeting, the manufacturers had no idea that kayaks killed so many. Next we asked them to help us share safety messages through their channels, both social media and marketing, like websites and newsletters. They all unanimously agreed. At this meeting, we discussed a safety pamphlet that could be attached to kayaks during production and shipped to dealers ready for consumers right in the retail environment. The manufacturers all agreed to include them and in January, nearly 7 million (a three year supply) were printed by the USCG.
I managed to get a commitment from NASBLA to help get this pamphlet shipped to nearly every state and territory — about 2 million copies.
There have been a few articles about this project. I’ve linked two here.
In addition to the printed pamphlet, we also produced an eight part video series called Safer Paddling, Be Smart, Be Safe, Have Fun. The videos are all over Youtube, but you can find them on our partner’s website, Canoe & Kayak here. (The pamphlet also has a QR code directly linking to the videos). For 2017, we are producing a series of SUP videos and a pamphlet for SUP manufacturers to attach to the deck of the board.