Safety tips to keep you afloat while kayaking, canoeing

Safety tips to keep you afloat while kayaking, canoeing

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It is finally spring and that means more people are getting outside and enjoying area rivers and lakes.

Before you get on the water with that new kayak or canoe you got for Christmas, or maybe you bought one last year amid the pandemic, there are some things you need to know about your new recreation tool.

FOX19 NOW went to Morgan’s Canoe and Outdoor Adventure in Brookville to find out how to do that so when the warmer weather is here to stay, you’re prepared.

“There’s a lot of things to know before you go,” says Morgan’s Canoe and Outdoor Adventure Owner Gary Morgan. “Life jackets are your number one friend. The next thing is just know where you’re going and know the section of river. Also, know an acceptable safe level.”

Many rivers are running high right now, but the Whitewater River in Brookville was at a safe level. You can check those levels online before going or call a place like Morgan’s for that information.

“You can do it [kayak] as a first-timer, you just need to follow some basic rules and listen to your instructor,” explains Morgan. “Take a short trip the first time, maybe don’t bring the family dog the first time.”

As for the kids, Morgan says he recommends bringing family members 10 and older. And if you do find yourself in trouble on the water, he has some advice.

“If you capsize in your canoe, if you have your life jacket on then you’re floating,” continues Morgan, “And most crafts are designed to float even when they’re submerged. So, you really want to hold on to your craft, and then your life jacket is keeping you afloat. Hold onto your paddle. Your best to kick it to shore if you’re in deeper water or just walk it to shore.”

You also need to be aware of “strainers:” trees that have fallen into the water in rapid, fast-flowing areas with the water flowing under the tree. Strainers are considered death hazards, and they are the nastiest and most serious type of hazard on our Midwest rivers.

Morgan says in addition to paddling out here, you can also search for fossils or go fishing. Morgan’s also offers camping.

They hope to be open in early May. Although, that all depends on the weather.

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