My heart goes out to this family http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2016/12/21/missing-paddle-boarder-found/. I am sick to my stomach thinking about those kids who lost their father. If you want to help out the family they have started a go fund me page.
We all paddle during the winter but this is just a reminder that anything can happen at any time. I know we sound like a broken record but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be safe when paddling in the winter.
Always wear a wet-suit/dry-suit. Even if its a mild day
Always wear a PFD. The inflatables are nice but what if you can’t pull your cord? Or worse what if it doesn’t open? When was the last time you tested your CO2? Just put on a wearable pfd
WEAR A LEASH. It is so simple and so easy to do but most people don’t bother, if you fall you need to get back on your board quick so a leach keeps it from getting away from you
NEVER PADDLE ALONE. If something bad happens if you are paddling with somebody they can help or call for help
BRING A PHONE. Never know when you will need to call for help
BE SMART! If it doesn’t feel right or you are hesitant, just don’t do it. You can always paddle another day