Safety Boat – 6/4/2022

Danelle is a board member of the Mississippi River Water Trail Association. This group promotes use of the Mississippi river. Today they were hosting PaddleFest. It was a introduction into paddling held on a backwater of the Mississippi river. There were several parts to this event. In order to hold these events, they needed volunteers to be safety boats.

They had approximately 100 kayaks brought out for people to use as part of the event. For our part, Danelle and I were focused on a large open area of approximately 10 acres of water where people would take out a borrowed kayak and try them out.

Of course, before you can start, you have to make it through the gauntlet of tables promoting things like NGRREC with the lovely Hannah showing water animals.

And being a safety boater, its important to wear a properly fitting PFD. This one, is probably the wrong size for me.

Properly equipped, Danelle and I headed out in our canoe to watch people enjoy the water and ensure that they are safe.

And a look at a few of the kayaks we were helping to keep safe.

We enjoyed being a safety boat for this event. While they prefer kayaks for safety boats, nobody needed to be rescued and we helped make the event possible. At the end of our 4th and last 1 hour session, a young man and his father were paddling in and asked about asian carp. We told him to watch and proceeded to paddle loud and fast near the shore. The fish started to jump and to my screaming surprise, we had a 20 ish pound carp jump from left to right, ending up right inside our boat. After people came down to see why I screamed (I swear I can’t help it), we released the carp and cleaned out the slime from the boat. A great day!

Hogan Haake