You’re missing the point
– Last Updated: Jul-08-08 8:48 PM EST –
Of course this is reasonable stuff. All the coaches/instructors I've ever paid or known to be "for hire" were trained that way and better. And since that incident, they all do wet exit training assiduously when a spray skirt is involved.
B-U-T -- is there really any reason to make a L-A-W about it?!
The prior versions of this proposed law were rife with technical errors and just plain stupidities -- like you only need to teach wet exit if you're going in 5 feet of water or more -- or everyone has to carry a compass on their kayak. Once the foot is in the door, what's to stop all that from coming back?
Do any other states have these kinds of laws? I doubt it -- please speak up if you know for your state?
And how about canoes, SOT's, hybrids. No spray skirt there, of course, but are they so much safer that instructors don't need CPR, first aid, or any training at all? That's a really dangerous message to send -- hey, you're in a canoe, no problem! Did you know that there are more canoe fatalities than in kayaks. And more kayakers wear PFDs than canoeists.
And how about rock climbers, hang gliders, etc. Are they regulated this way BY LAW?!
Of course not. So why are kayaks -- and just one type of kayak -- singled out? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, THIS MAKES NO SENSE! (I have theories, but another day for that).
Sorry to rant this way. I'm a card-carrying, big-government-loving pinko-liberal, but this makes no sense. Is there going to be a big bureaucracy to test instructors, license, observe, sign, stamp, seal and mail them in triplicate? Or is this just a feel-good measure with no teeth, so the wife of a gentleman who tragically died in a kayaking class can think they've achieved an adequate memorial to their loved one?
If you really want to save the lives of kayakers, not to mention canoeists, SOT-ers, etc, my friends in the state legislature, how about appropriating a few big bills of another kind to send BCU and ACA coaches into the schools one hour/year to tell students that wearing a PFD is actually likely to save a life -- maybe their life? Oh no, that's actually costs m-o-n-e-y. This law is for free!
Whew -- sorry about that rant.
But back to the question. Does your state have a law like this? If you know one way or the other, please speak up.
And if not, do you want one? Well, if Mass does it, you may be getting one soon. And then, watch out below...