Paddling Safety Demonstration and Club Picnic

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Ted | VCKC
Published Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lake Miona, November 13, 2005

Sixty-three club members participated in our first and hopefully annual Outdoors Safety Demonstration held at Lake Miona. Mark Baker, a certified paddling safety instructor and nine members of the Lake County (Florida) River Runners Club caught everyone's attention in talking about and demonstrating the use of the recommended safety equipment and how to re-enter a capsized boat. Ironically, the next day, a couple members of our club who attended this demonstration used rescue procedures demonstrated by Mark when they and other club members paddled Juniper Springs Run.

The following is an excerpt of an email sent to me:

“We went kayaking today with [names deleted] on the Juniper Run near US 19 in
the Ocala Nat'l Forest. It's a good thing the other guys were at the safety demo as
[deleted] went over in a very deep and swift current area. I swam over (it was COLD) to his boat and was able to get him before he went downstream and also emptied his boat out. The [deleted] remembered a trick for bailing out a boat from the demo yesterday and we were able to get [deleted] back in and on his way. The Juniper Run has a VERY fast current.”

I can't think of a more fitting way to express our Club's thanks to Mark and his fellow
club members than to share with him this experience. Paddling is certainly a wonderful
way to explore the beautiful and hidden waters of Florida and we tend to become too
relaxed and assured for our safety. PFDs and the other safety equipment and procedures

Mark and the leaders of our club stress can and have been used to rescue capsized paddlers and their boats. Please wear your PFD, its purpose is to save your life not become a seat cushion. As a side note, with exception of the paddle floatation device, all of the safety equipment Mark discussed is brought with a trip leader on our monthly paddles. Also, all of the other items discussed by Mark are listed as safety and personal (comfort) items you should bring on our trips is listed in our club's website.

Mark owns and operates the Lake County Canoe & Kayak Equipment Store at 4072 North Hwy 19A, Mount Dora, FL Tele: 352.357.4900.

When you stop by please let Mark know you are a member of our club and give him your thanks for the excellent demo he and his club presented.

The Weather for Sunday's event couldn't have been better. We owe a “well done” to Karl Loeper, a club member and meteorologist on WVLG, for arranging the clear skies and comfortable temperatures.

Special Thanks to Hank and Barb Casey for organizing this event as well as to the volunteer cooks and servers. The burgers and franks were nicely cooked and eaten with gusto. Lastly, Thanks to all our wonderful club members who came and enjoyed the day.

Paddle Safely and enjoy our Florida waters, Ted

Last update Thursday, April 10, 2008

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