Sadly, two more young men have died on Lake Michigan this past week. I don’t know these men personally and I don’t know their story, but what I do know is that they both broke all three simple rules that I have written about in past blogs and have discussed in other articles on this website.
- Always wear your life jacket (PFD)!
- Always dress for the water temperature (that means a wetsuit or drysuit when the water is 43°F as it is right now)!
- Never paddle a recreational kayak on large bodies of water (like Lake Michigan)!
Had these two men followed even one of the three rules above, there is a chance that they might have been saved since they were being observed from shore and emergency help was summoned quickly.
I received a shipment of kayaks this morning for my upcoming summer programs. Attached to each one was a small pamphlet from the American Canoe Association and the US Coast Guard urging people to “Be Smart, Be Safe, Have Fun”. I don’t know where the two young men got the kayaks that they were using when they died, but there is a possibility that information about these 3 rules was attached to the boats when they were purchased. Tragically, someone wasn’t paying attention.
If you have purchased a recreational kayak, read those safety pamphlets that are attached. It won’t take much time and there is important information that you may not be aware of. Don’t assume you know it all. If you let someone else use your boat, make sure that they are aware of these rules, as well, so that they don’t put themselves at risk unknowingly.
Two families are grieving over a tragedy that didn’t have to happen.