Pet owners are sometimes more careful and safety conscious with their beloved furry friends than they are with their own personal safety and protection. With that in mind, Stand-Up For A Cause is spreading the word to make paddle board, kayak and canoe paddlers aware of the rules, regulations and best practices when engaging in Florida paddle sports. Paddle pooch “Nemo” chooses to never go on the water without his personal floatation device – do you?
Here is what this means if you are using a paddle board:
Unless the paddle board is being used within a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” the paddle board must have a USCG-approved life jacket for each person and a sound-producing device on board while on the water.
Although persons on the paddle board are not required to wear the life jacket while on Florida waters (unless they are less than six years of age), it is advisable.
Bring a whistle – A “sound-producing device” is a small whistle or horn that can be heard for at least one-half nautical mile. “Referee-type” whistles or other similar devices that can be attached to your life jacket should work well.
If you are operating in limited visibility or at night, you will also need a flashlight or lantern that produces a white light.
Becky Bragg, Communications Director for the Florida Professional Paddlesports Association (FPPA) says “help spread the word about safety on a paddle board – and don’t forget the whistle.”
For more detailed information on required safety equipment for boats, paddle boards, canoes and kayaks please visit MyFWC.com.
When you are at your favorite local water-sporting store, purchasing your next PFD for your pet – don’t forget one for yourself.