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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 6:16 am 
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This video has been posted on youtube and facebook by Souris River Canoe:

https://youtu.be/zNUF_B2r8HA

I thought something was missing - glaringly missing - and I posted a comment about that on facebook.

What do you think?

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 8:07 am 
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Not good role models. Monkey see video monkey do. Unless monkey has had an education elsewhere.

The PFDs are under the seats. There are other mandated items missing,


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 8:55 am 
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Although perhaps not setting a good example, they are not currently breaking any laws. It is only necessary to have the required number of lifejackets on board. Other safety equipment might be on board as well, we can't really tell from the video.

Personally, I don't believe a three minute video is going to change anyone's opinion about wearing a lifejacket. I watched all the episodes of Breaking Bad in about one week, and I felt absolutely no compulsion to either make or inhale crystal meth.


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 11:34 am 
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RHaslam wrote:
Personally, I don't believe a three minute video is going to change anyone's opinion about wearing a lifejacket.

I try not to substitute personal hunches for decades of rigorous social science research. It is for this reason that I'm fine with restrictions on alcohol and cigarette advertising. It is for this reason that I try to demonstrate good health practices by (almost) always wearing my PFD. And I most certainly expect canoe manufacturers to show how to safely use their products in their promoted videos.

I really don't see much of a difference between this video and a car company promoting a video that features toddlers climbing all over the seats of a moving car, or motorboat manufacturer's video of people enjoying a cooler full of booze while piloting a motorboat.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 11:54 am 
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I really don't see much of a difference between this video and a car company promoting a video that features toddlers climbing all over the seats of a moving car, or motorboat manufacturer's video of people enjoying a cooler full of booze while piloting a motorboat.

One of the differences is that both of those activities that you listed are illegal. Paddling without one's life jacket is legal. I believe that people should be able to make their own decisions about their lives until the powers that be tell them otherwise. I still maintain that a little watched youtube video is not going to lead to a rash of drownings. Is it an image the company wants to portray? I don't know, I guess we'll see how long it is before they pull the video.


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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 12:42 pm 
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I get the concern from the prospective of them being in the industry, but personally it raises absolutely no concerns for me. In fact, I like it. On this issue, I like supporting responsible decision making instead of absolute rules, and, to me, I didn't see anything irresponsible or illegal in the video, so good for them. For good measure, maybe I'd have had them in PFDs in whatever shot where they were on the most open water, or at least shown some, but that's it.

I believe Rapid Media will publish photos of people in canoes not wearing PFDs and they get the occassional letter and they happily defend their position of responsible use and sound decision making, so good for them too.

I realize what's "responsible" is subjective, but so be it. To me, a huge value of wilderness canoeing is what it teaches about decision making. I hate it when organizations remove the ability to use common sense and develop risk management skills by having zero-tolerance policies for removing a PFD! To me, it takes aaway value from the experience of canoe tripping. (Incidentally, this was one thing I really did not enjoy about Phil's Wabikimi trip where we had lots of hot, close-to-shore swimming days, but were asked to wear our PFDs at all times.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of safety and of wearing my PFD, however, on a 30-degree day, 5' from shore in 5' of glass-calm water, why would anybody want to force me to wear a PFD? I resist that policy. Why should I need to wear my PFD at a time and place when I'd happily and frequently jump out of the canoe for a swim? Should all swimmers wear their PFD at all times?

I've had a lot of canoeing days in extreme heat and difficult conditions getting through swamps or creeks where the physical work is hard, the risk of drowning almost non-existant, and I'm out of the boat as much as in it. On those days I'm much better off managing for heat stroke than drowning.

Open water, unstable weather, current, cold, uncomfortable member in the party, check, check, check, there's lots of times & places where I'm the first to have people put on their PFDs (it's probably a thing tripping partners should agree on together). But there's an equal number of times & places when I think it's totally silly, or even a bad idea, to be wearing the PFD.

To me, wearing your PFD all-the-time-no-matter-what is like wearing your rain gear all the time in case of hypothermia - it just doesn't make sense in all conditions, so use your judgement. Or steel-toes boots in case you mis-use an axe, or safety glasses in case you walk into a pokey branch, or helmets in case you slip on a rock, or bright colours in case you get lost, ...

PFDs are only one aspect of safety on a canoe trip, and canoe trips can see a wide range of conditions. The all-the-time-no-matter-what approach doesn't make any sense at all to me, so if I see people safely enjoying their time in a canoe and they are not wearing their PFDs, it doesn't bother me in the least. Yes, that involves some assumptions and trust about their abilities and experience, but so be it. I don't worry about every single swimmer I see either, or every person walking along the shore.

It's certainly nothing like kids on the loose in a moving vehicle. I'm not saying bravado is good and PFDs are unimportant, but, to me, canoes are in fact a product that can be safely used without needing to wear a flotation devices at all times.

P.

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PostPosted: October 7th, 2015, 4:18 pm 
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And just where is that line drawn? Experienced paddlers have a sense of appropriate gear at the right time. Often we have made mistakes and lived to learn
Others maybe are just plain not so lucky in their dumbness
A non swimmer non PFD wearer drowned in Florida this week. Guess he did not have the experience to know that bad things can happen


Reading the above posts hindsight is valuable. But if there is nothing to look backwards to there is no frame of reference

PFD wearing is required in some States in the winter but that's a different circumstance

edit. I just spent ten minutes on the phone with my neighbor. While they always wear their PFD, they are baffled why I recommend that at least they bring spare clothes in a dry bag ( not a plastic grocery bag). We are doing a neighborhood canoe trip tomorrow. They knew it would be 5 degrees air temp but still are thinking 20 for water temp. They have never been wet and cold because "we never dump". Yet.
It will freeze by next month.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 2:38 am 
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For me, it's drawn somewhere beyond calm, warm, shallow water: if I could be standing waist-deep in a warm lake enjoying a splash-around, I don't think it makes sense that I need to be wearing a PFD just because a canoe happens to be involved.

I know it's not perfect for everyone, but neither is the all-the-time-no-matter-what law. As people who use canoes, we accept and manage lots of different risks, and I'm OK with donning the PFD being one of them (again, I don't mean that sound careless or anti-PFD, there's just a lot of times on shallow, calm, warm water where it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me).

I don't like the idea of society managing for the the least responsible and/or most unreasonable people. I don't think cups of hot coffee should need caution labels. So, we all draw are own lines (as we do all the time), and I'm OK with people being accountable for factoring in something like whether or not they can swim or how cold the water is.

If we wanted to keep all canoeists safe all the time, there's probably stuff that should be regulated ahead of PFDS: skills, boats, gear, clothes, packing systems, group dynamics & communications, trip planning, food planning, swimming, drinking, whatever. By the time the PFD is relevant, a lot of other mistakes have probably been made! I'd probably have an easier time accepting the logic of enforcing some of those things.

I just don't get the fixation on a requirement to wear a PFD all-the-time-no-matter-what just because you're in a canoe. When I'm in a canoe I'm near water, not in water, and shallow, warm, calm water near shore is just not very dangerous. A law to wear a PFD at all time is canoe, to me, is the equivalent of a requirement for all people to wear a PFD anytime they are near water.

Should the manufacturer's video have included more PFDs, yeah, I'd think so, but I personally didn't have a problem with it or see it as promoting irresponsible or unsafe use of dangerous product.

P.

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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 6:42 am 
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We're not talking about a law. We are talking about best modeling practice for a manufacturer to present.
The legalities were mentioned because I saw no bailer or throw bag which IS law.
Nobody is paying attention to the original intent of the post anymore.

There have been some real jumps in logic in this thread.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 7:33 am 
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Hap Wilson... photo probably taken during an unprofessional moment.

Image

Whew, what a relief, nobody's watching.

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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 8:09 am 
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O please.. You are right..just let the new paddlers be unaware of dangers. ( gee I saw the guys not wearing PFD s in the video, why should I) ?

Sorry I engaged in this "discussion"

I hope you never have to rescue a panicked beginner who has watched too many U tube videos. You are aware that SR markets to beginning trippers?

Out of here am I.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 9:30 am 
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Good thread Steve, and an open ended question of "what do you think?" Nothing seems off topic here. Does an advertisement bear some or all responsibility for proper use of said advertised product? Some advertisers are probably dealing with potential lawsuits (or past ones) when alcohol adverts say "Please drink responsibly. Never drink and drive."; or gambling adverts say "Know your limit and keep to it." Should a canoe maker warn against risks?
I like that video. Very enjoyable. I assume it was a promotional piece demonstrating the joys of paddling, particularly if you're paddling their brand. I understand that. Not often you can actually sit through a commercial and enjoy it. This however isn't an instructional video. It likely wasn't meant to be. I watch both "types", educational and non. A disclaimer posted across the bottom could fix anyone's displeasure with this video. It could wind up being a long one full of fine print, covering everything from PFDs to barbless hooks, proper heavy lifting posture to wearing sunblock, fishing reg's to organic free trade coffee. There's a lot of risks and decisions involved in our daily lives, even when we're trying to "get away from it all". I honestly think this video is just a "feel good" commercial for a product. I'm exaggerating with the disclaimer stuff...but a simple message "Please acquire the necessary safety equipment and knowledge before canoeing. Obey all laws and canoe responsibly", or some such message could help.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 2:46 pm 
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It's one very sneaky video! ;-) I am glad the discussion is on.
And I will profess I am quite happy to see the folks paddling without wearing life jackets.

I agree with what Odyssey and Yarnellboat have said. And I will add the observation that we now - as a community - bemoan that our grand children grow up too sheltered. They lose the sense for judgment which has been replaced with "rules".

Maybe we ourselves are living too sheltered. It's time to include us older folks in this drive for such liberation. How about it?
I like the old days where one'd go out with a bunch of experienced folks and learn from them. It doesn't happen that much any more, at least in my little bubble....

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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 6:44 pm 
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My thinking about wearing a PFD while paddling has been evolving. Down in the States I'm a volunteer "trail maintainer" for The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and I've co-led a number of day paddle trips to try to get folks more interested in paddling (and more interested in ecology, conservation, etc.). The NFCT in turn has sponsored trainings for their volunteers. This year I got certified by the ACA as a flatwater canoe instructor, and I just took a great swiftwater rescue class a few weekends ago. As I assume a little bit of a leadership role I am becoming more mindful that I am also a role model. Ten years ago, like many others here, I rarely wore a PFD on flatwater, except during cold water season, or on big lakes while paddling solo. But I watch the reports on paddling accidents. Most of the time the people who drown were not wearing PFDs. They only work when you wear them. Try putting one on sometime when you are already treading water. The policy on our NFCT day trips is that everyone has to wear one, and before we get on the water we talk about why that is, as well as how to properly adjust one, etc. So that's where I'm at. If I'm alone, or in the company of adults, all of whom are proficient paddlers and swimmers, and the water is warm... yup, I might not wear my PFD. If I'm around kids, adolescents, or inexperienced paddlers - I'm definitely wearing a PFD -- & I'm passing on every bit of knowledge I have about how to use one correctly, and why.

For me there is a HUGE difference between the personal decisions each of us may make for ourselves about our own paddling risk & safety & the responsibility that we have when we are in the role of promoting paddling. Heck - I mostly trip solo, and the official word from the ACA is that that's a high risk activity. So, clearly, I'm not adverse to deciding what level of risk works for me or you. But, yes, I also think I have a responsibility to promote safe paddling for others - and a canoe manufacturer also does, even more so.

I dutifully wore my seatbelt and shoulder harness for for 40 years without needing it. ...And then one night in 2010, on Hwy 133 in St. Sebastien, QC I walked away from an accident that destroyed all three cars & would have most certainly have killed me, but for the harness & air bag. So I'll continue to wear my safety harness while driving, I'll try to be ever more mindful about wearing my PFD on the water -- and I'll continue to expect canoe organizations and canoe manufacturers to model best safe practices as they promote the sport & their equipment.

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Most of the world's political, social, and environmental problems have the same root cause: human overpopulation. By 2050 or so, the world population is expected to reach nine billion.


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PostPosted: October 8th, 2015, 9:17 pm 
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I believe that everyone who cannot swim should wear a pfd while canoeing. That is only common sense.

If I can swim across the calm lake I am canoeing on, I see no reason to wear a pfd. I find it annoying every time a non-swimmer drowns there is a big push to make everybody and his dog wear a pfd all the time, every time.


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