4 common canoe accidents you should understand

| Jun 14, 2019 | Firm News

While extreme boating activities, such as parasailing and motorboating, are a tremendous amount of fun, they are not right for every water enthusiast. If you want to explore South Carolina’s many waterways in a relaxed way, climbing into a canoe or kayak may be right for you.

Canoes and kayaks move through the water slower than motor-operated vessels. While speed often contributes to motorboat accidents, going slowly does not necessarily protect you from serious injury or death. Here are four common accidents you should understand before you rent a canoe or kayak:

1. Drowning 

By far, drowning is the biggest risk you face in a canoe. In fact, of canoers who died between 1999 and 2015, 91% drowned. If you want to minimize your chances of drowning on the water, wearing a safety-rated life jacket is a smart decision.

2. Collisions 

If you canoe on busy waterways, you must watch out for collisions. Remember, boats and jet skis have the ability to move much faster than your canoe. They are also probably larger and heavier than your watercraft. If you are not vigilant, you may find yourself in the middle of a disastrous boat crash.

3. Capsizing 

A motorboat does not have to smash into your canoe for you to turn upside down. If you fall out of your boat, you may sustain a serious injury in fast-moving, shallow, deep or otherwise dangerous water. Therefore, before you set out on your canoe, be sure you understand water conditions. You must also avoid rivers, lakes and other waterways too aggressive for your skill level.

4. Sunburns and dehydration 

While not technically accidents, sunburns and dehydration may put your life at risk. Put simply, shade is rare on South Carolina’s lakes and oceans. If you do not carry drinking water with you and regularly apply sunblock, you may be in trouble.

Heading out in a canoe or kayak is a fantastic way to explore South Carolina’s many waterways. Before your adventure, though, you must be sure you understand why canoe accidents tend to occur. With some education and a bit of planning, you can enjoy the water without jeopardizing your personal safety.