Cold Water Paddling

The other morning I issued the first fishing licenses of the season to two men heading out to canoe in the Boundary Waters.  I told them to be careful and wear their life vests.  The one man replied, "We always do this time of the year."  To which I said, "That’s good, people should always wear their life vest out of common courtesy to the ones they love, because then if something happens to you at least rescuers will be able to find your body."  After I said it I thought, "Hmm, that was kind of rude of me."  Then after reading this article I thought, maybe it was rude, but at least it is true.  I can’t imagine having someone close to me drown, yet alone not be able to confirm it with a body to bury.  This can happen not only in the spring with cold water and hypothermia but also throughout the whole year when paddlers don’t wear their life vests and drown.  So, please, do everyone a favor and wear your life vest every time you head out onto the water.