IceBreakers

Paddling on Near-Freezing Water is Extraordinarily Dangerous

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No idea of the huge risk they're taking by paddling with no thermal protection on this guided kayak tour of an Alaskan glacier.

Irresponsible outfitters take novices on glacier kayak outings with no thermal protection, while clueless newbies are lured onto ice-cold water by Facebook and other social media posts that encourage unprotected winter paddling.

 

Every single time, it's an invitation to disaster. All it takes is a little slip of the paddle and an unintended capsize to set the stage for another tragedy.  The paddlers in these pictures have no idea of the incredible risk that they're taking.

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No Thermal Protection

No Thermal Protection

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Here's a great example.  No thermal protection, and a waist-mounted, manually-inflatable PFD, worn backwards with the pull tab hanging where it will be most difficult to reach.  In the event that he falls off his board, he will likely drown before he can even think about inflating it. 

Children canoeing on icy water.  If they capsized, they'd be very lucky to survive.  Related Incident

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Paddleboarders ignoring cold water safety.  Many don't even wear PFDs.  They would be lucky to survive a capsize under these conditions.

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Irresponsible Facebook Group Image
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This is the home page of a Facebook group that targets newbie SUP paddlers.  The paddler is solo on lethal 32F (0C) water.  No newbie paddler should be doing this.  It's an advanced trip that requires specialized gear and advanced rescue skills.

Kayakers in recreational boats like the ones below aren't much better.  It's particularly irresponsible for manufacturers to feature this kind of behavior in advertisements and also irresponsible for Facebook group Admins to permit posts like this.

Trifecta of Trouble
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This Facebook post is as bad and irresponsible as it gets: Booze, no PFDs, and no thermal protection.

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Oru Kayak's Irresponsible Advertising

For more information: See our six-minute video Oru Kayak's Reckless and Irresponsible Advertising.

Dressed in street clothes.

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No PFD / No Protection

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No Protection / Snow / Hiking Boots

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No PFD / No Thermal Protection

No Protection / Ice-Cold Water

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Paddling alone on Ice-Cold Water