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Georgia Power promotes kayaking safety in advance of Memorial Day and summer recreation season

Georgia Power recently partnered with the American Canoe Association (ACA) to host 43 simultaneous Kayaking 101 classes to recognize National Safe Boating Week in advance of the Memorial Day weekend. Georgia Power is the largest non-governmental provider of recreation facilities in Georgia with over 15 lakes statewide and it is important to support programs that teach kayakers the basic paddle strokes and rescue maneuvers to help save their lives in the event of an accident.

The majority of paddlesport fatalities involve paddlers with less than 100 hours of experience in a kayak, so the goal of the American Canoe Association is to build inclusive paddling communities, support excellence, and foster safety and stewardship through paddlesports education, competition, and recreation. These classes are made available by many organizations coming together to help fellow paddlers across Georgia.

“We’re here to stress in this class, if you cannot do it safely, don’t do it,” said ACA Instructor Greg Whitehead. “Do not ever get on the water without a life vest. Your loved ones want you to have them on.“

Georgia Power is encouraging residents to review water and boating safety tips before hitting the water this holiday weekend. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children 1 to 4 years of age, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health and SPLASH, a longstanding Georgia Department of Natural Resources initiative supported by Georgia Power. Through public outreach, the organizations aim to reduce the number of deaths and injuries.

SPLASH recommends citizens follow these tips:

  • Supervision – Designate an adult to watch children at all times. Do not assume someone else is watching.
  • Prevention – Wear personal flotation devices (PFD or life jacket), install fencing around pools, and use drain covers in pools.
  • Look before you leap – Never jump into water without knowing how deep it is and what is below the surface.
  • Arm's Length – Adults should be arm's length to children in water, and safety tools such as hooks should be nearby at all times.
  • Swim Lessons – Knowing how to swim greatly reduces the chance of drowning. Classes are often available through the Red Cross or YMCA.
  • Have a Water Safety Plan – Know what to do during an emergency.