Game Fish & Parks Gives Kayaking Safety Tips

SIOUX FALLS, SD— With the recent drowning that happened this weekend,  Game Fish & Parks wants to make sure that everybody is safe while they are in a kayak.

“The main thing that we want everybody to know especially with kayaks and canoes is to bring that life jacket and wear it,” said Jeremy Rakowicz, Game Fish & Parks district supervisor.

Although state law says kayakers only need to have a life vest in the boat.

Wearing one can be the difference between life and death.

“We recommend wearing it because if you don’t and you overturn, the panic starts to set in,” said Rakowicz. And you are not going to be able to find that life jacket or it will float away from you. That doesn’t do you any good.”

GFP also suggests checking the conditions of the water before going out.

“You just want to make sure that you’re not putting kayak out on a lake on a real strong windy day because the waves can get some white caps,” said Rakowicz. “That plays havoc on trying to stay afloat or keep upright.”

For those that are beginners to kayaking, it’s suggested to take an introductory course.

“They go through everything there is to know about the kayaks. The safety and how to use them properly. So there are classes around that you can take and get familiar with the boats you’re in,” said Rakowicz.

It is also recommended to never go kayaking alone; always use the buddy system.

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