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Tuesday, October 15 News

Letters to the editor: Spring kayaking safety; Talk about underage drinking

Spring kayaking safety

To the editor:

As spring arrives, it will soon be time to dust off your kayak and take it to the waters of LIS. Please pay attention to the following outfitting and safety suggestions before heading out.

Check the marine forecast and water temperature before heading out. It may appear to be good weather on-shore, but that may not be the case off-shore, and the weather can change quickly.

Dress for immersion and not the air temperature in case of a capsize, a common mistake on warm, spring days, A wet-suit is best during spring, and never wear cotton, which will absorb water and not dry out. When the body is immersed in cold water, hypothermia will occur limiting the ability to swim or tread water and drowning will occur if not wearing a life jacket.

Wear a life jacket all year long. If a capsize occurs, you will need to hold onto your boat and paddle and putting a life jacket on while treading water is nearly impossible.

In early 2018, there were a few boating fatalities. The combination of high winds causing a capsize; improper dress, and not wearing a life jacket, were the contributing factors. Let’s try to avoid these tragedies in 2019!

Kayakers should also be aware that they do not have the right-of-way in boat channels, such as in the Saugatuck Harbor. Self-propelled boats are required by rule to move out of the way of all boats under power in a channel. A nautical chart will indicate channel locations.

Whether paddling a sit-on-top type kayak or cock-pit type sea-kayak, kayakers should learn how to re-enter their boat in case of a capsize.

After citing all this scary safety stuff, kayaking the greater Norwalk area and around the Norwalk Islands is an awesome recreational sport. The Norwalk Islands are considered the jewel of Norwalk and Westport, and Shea, Grassy and Cockenoe islands are open to the public for day trips and overnight camping.

For more information go to my Facebook page, “Kayaking in and around the Norwalk Islands” www.facebook.com/KayakingNorwalkIslands.

David Park

Norwalk

Talk about underage drinking as prom, graduation season approaches

To the editor:

As teenagers across the country prepare to celebrate key milestones in their lives during the upcoming prom and graduation season, parents can do their part to make sure they’re ready by talking with their teenagers about underage drinking.

While this isn’t always an easy conversation, there are several tools for parents and educators to start these vital discussions.

Dichello Distributors, Inc. would like to remind parents about the Family Talk About Drinking program, a free parent guide designed to encourage open and honest communication between parents and their children of all ages. Programs like this, paired with education and effective law enforcement, are essential to further reducing underage drinking.

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Here’s where you can find Family Talk About Drinking resources online: www.FamilyTalkAboutDrinking.com; www.facebook.com/ABFamilyTalk; twitter.com/ABFamilyTalk; www.pinterest.com/abfamilytalk.

As parents ourselves, we know the safety of your children is your top priority. As they grow up, children and teenagers look to you for guidance on how to navigate our complex world. There’s no single “right way” to talk about alcohol, underage drinking and responsible choices — what’s most important is to start the conversation, and Family Talk About Drinking can help you do just that.

Tony Lota

Dichello Distributors, Inc.

Orange

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