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Orlando, FL June 8, 2016 — The nonprofit Water Sports Foundation (WSF) announced the release of a series of highly specialized paddle sports safety videos targeting new paddlers, an area of concern for the U.S. Coast Guard.
For the past five years, paddle sports popularity has grown steadily and so have boating deaths related to paddle sports. In 2015, according to a U.S. Coast Guard report, 143 paddlers lost their lives while participating in paddle sports. The trend of increased paddle sports deaths is causing concern amongst the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division and paddle sports safety organizations.
The series’ first videos are available. In addition to the eight-part video series this summer, The Water Sports Foundation in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division is also producing more than six million 10-panel safety pamphlets that the world’s largest canoe and kayak manufacturers have all agreed to insert into their new product offerings for point of purchase display. The idea is support the video series with a specific panel for each topic highlighting important paddle sports safety messages in retail showrooms that by-and-large do not have adequate or well-trained staff in this area. The pamphlets will be distributed to manufacturers this summer and should start arriving in stores by fall 2016.
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the Water Sports Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA.net). Since 2011 WSF has received boating safety outreach grant funding from the U.S. Coast Guard for the outreach project called Increasing the Awareness of Safe Boating Practices. The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund administered through Congressional action provides funding for the U.S. Coast Guard’s recreational boating safety initiatives.