Tips from the Paddler

Tip 3. Emergency Contacts

Emergency Contacts

If you are incapacitated on the river/lake/ocean, can the people in your group contact your emergency contacts? How will/do they know? In a more formal tripping environment, group emergency contacts and float plans may be generated and available but more frequently in our impromptu pickup groups and trips, this info isn’t commonly gathered.

Emergencies like this do occur in paddling and they have occurred to us. It makes things more difficult on the rescuers, first responders, law enforcement and the families. Figure out a way to help people help you.
In my case, I made “Road ID” tags (popularized by bicyclists) for myself that I’ve attached to the shoulder strap of both my whitewater and coastal-paddling pfds. It’s a fairly easy task finding these custom engravable tags or even aluminum cards that could be stowed in pfd pockets these days for under $20. That’s a lot of peace of mind if, or when the time comes when you need it.

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