Groups promote canoe and kayak safety

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The American Canoe Association and the Coast Guard Auxiliary signed a memorandum of agreement to promote safety among those who use kayaks, canoes and other paddle craft.

The new agreement establishes cooperative efforts that broaden outreach and education to the paddle-sports community, the organizations said.

With input from the canoe association, a new Auxiliary Paddlesports America course is now available nationwide, complementing traditional safety courses that the association has offered for decades. The classroom-based training provides paddlers with the basic knowledge needed to safely operate their vessels, including knowing the paddle craft, trip planning, safe operation, legal requirements and paddling emergencies.

Paddle sports are one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in the United States, the organizations said. In 2008, the Outdoor Industry Association reported that about 17.8 million people participated in paddle sports, getting on the water nearly 50,000 times daily.

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