The Minnesota Canoe Murders

Tim Ingram

Copyright 2006, Tim Ingram
All rights reserved.
No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise, without written permission from the author.


Attention Please:

The Governor of Minnesota
The Attorney-General of Minnesota
The Chief of Police of Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota
The Free Media of Minnesota
The Legal Community of Minneapolis-St Paul where Mr. Earle Kyle was a respected attorney at Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP
Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs (Mr. Kyle was a member of Alumni, 1987)
American Law Institute (Mr. Kyle was elected to this limited-membership oganization to improve administration to social needs and justice.)
Medtronics Inc. where Mr. Kyle was senior legal counsel at the time of his death by canoe, with his eight-year-old son Nicholas
St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company (2 blocks from Raspberry Island, in Minneapolis-St. Paul).

Mr. Kyle, 41 and his son Nicholas were recovered from Big Sandy Lake on Monday, October 9, 2006. Photo courtesy of St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The American Canoe Association has conducted an Enron-type safety scam for instruction money, that has killed over 1000 Americans in canoes and kayaks since 1993. Their Insurer for liability is St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. I believe that St. Paul F and M may not be aware of this deadly scam perpetrated by their client, The American Canoe Association and their partners, The Professional Paddlesports Association, Pamela Dillon, the CEO for Paddlesports Publishing Inc., Mr. Paul Sanford, ACA public policy director etc. The re-insurer, American Specialty Insurance in Indiana certainly is aware of this scam. This most deadly scam in American history shows wanton and reckless disregard for the safety of other persons, failing to meet the standard of a "reasonably prudent person" in the circumstances of these horrible and agonizing deaths.

St. Paul Fire and Marine may cancel insurance coverage for The American Canoe Association, their partner The Professional Paddlesports Association, Pamela Dillon, CEO for Paddlesports Publishing Inc. etc.; since the insurance policy is already written to exclude coverage for any negligence in failing to wear a PFD at all times, let alone this scandal.

*Please use care when contacting any members of the hundreds of grieving families, including the Kyle family. Close relatives or friends, or colleagues, who have acted as trusted "spokespersons" are perhaps the best agents to approach with this information. My research has shown that grieving families always want to know what really happened to their loved ones. And they always wish to do what they can to prevent such terrible pain and grief from ever happening to anyone else. This is normal human compassion and is normal in keeping faith with their loved ones, to ensure that their memories are protected; since they can no longer speak for themselves.

If you doubt these facts, please check the stories regarding the Tillman family, now pursuing the truth of the death of their son in Afghanistan. The facts so far reveal that their son was in Afghanistan to pursue the real terror threat, Osama bin Laden. He did not agree with invading Iraq. The evidence shows that the Whitehouse covered-up his death by friendly fire and used his death as yet another PR spin. The canoe and kayak deaths, overseen by Homeland Security's National Boating Safety Advisory Council on the U.S. Coast Guard website, unfortunately spin for political advantage, like many other issues in Washington, D.C. But it is important to understand that many decent civil servants also exist in government. I shall try to help the reader understand that bureaucracy and special interests can constitute a complex context, but it is really an old story: the greedy grab for power and profit, despite the cost to those who are left without a voice.

This book puts faces to these deaths and publically posts evidence on the internet such as the June 29, 2001 letter from the American Canoe Association in response to my letter of May 29, 2001 to the Attorney General of Florida (who passed this to their consumer affairs office.) This ACA letter, signed by Gordon Black and initialled by ACA legal counsel David Bookbinder (who soon left the ACA), ties their decision to deny the public any means to escape deadly waters (by making any canoe or kayak far more stable than before the emergency), to 1993, involving "experts" making the video "Performance Sea Kayaking" by Kent Ford. They lied about the different types of "sponsons": airbags or solid foam. Instead they outline a variety of rescue ideas that very few persons can perform in a swimming pool, let alone during a real emergency. (The ACA even lied about some of the "expert" opinion in the video. I had met some of these same experts in person, decent citizens all, at paddling symposiums on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America, from 1989-1994.)

This online book puts faces on two tragic and very recent canoeing deaths near Minneapolis-St.Paul and it puts faces on about 1000 American victims killed in canoes and kayaks since 1993. Approximately 90 other U.S. citizens, including many children, have been killed in 2006. (The U.S. Coast Guard BARD Database in accessible on their Office of Boating Safety website.)

Young teenagers Travis Turner and Jordon Sebia died in a capsized canoe, February 26, 2006 in a suburban lake in Richmond, Virginia on the exact anniversary of the deaths of the young Darlington School teenagers Sean Wilkinson and Clay McKemie, who died in the waters near Suwannee, Florida, February 26, 2005 (wearing PFDs), after capsize of their canoe on a school trip from Rome, Georgia. Three young boys northwest of Minneapolis-St.Paul, north of Winnipeg, Canada paddled a canoe May 20, 2005 and were never seen again. Two months later 23 girls, 9-11 years old, capsized August 4th in rented kayaks, east of Duluth near the Apostle Islands. All nearly died except for intervention in time by Coast Guard and other rescuers. That was a close call, like the timely rescue of 10 children and two adults whose large freighter canoe had overturned. (The Hamilton Spectator, "Burlington adventurer missing outside Wawa", July 19, 2006.) These very near mass deaths of children are actually more common than most people know! The entire grade 6 class of a school in Elliott Lake, Ontario nearly died in cold waters except for the mere chance of a large motorboat coming into view and ferrying victims to the nearest waiting ambulances radioed by the boat. This was a YMCA expedition story that missed the press. (I am a former YMCA counsellor and scoutmaster. The YMCA needs safe canoes and kayaks for their programs too.) The Canadian Girl Guides below, got national television coverage.

The tiny kids on the left, in year 2000, without previous instruction or experience, easily overcome the enertia of a 1 ton totally flooded canoe, to rescue disabled adults who only need to crawl over a submerged gunwale. (Normally both airbag sponsons are set like the lower one, so leaning on one sponson spills out most of the water.) Any 10 year old girls can save themselves without instruction or experience, and rescue very large and disabled Adults! They can spill most of the water out, as shown in the pictures, when airbag sponsons are set normally, like the lower sponson. In fact it is impossible to flood any canoe over the gunwales when these sponsons are normally set. The only way to create airbag sponson pictures AS SHOWN, with a fully FLOODED canoe, is to set one sponson higher, so one gunwale is always underwater. Simple science.

The famous author, John Dowd, in his book "Sea Kayaking", 1986, p.227 states: "I was once with a group of Outward Bound boys...fourteen boys, 16 to 19 years old...a savage squall capsized nine of them in one blast... any form of group rescue using the techniques...was out of the question. There were two instructors with the group and myself and another instructor in a 24 foot jet rescue boat, watching through binoculars from a distance of half a mile. we picked less than twenty minutes. Without the rescue boat, we would have needed a 1:1 staff to pupil ratio...and even then the result would have been in doubt." With the invention of sponsons in 1987, John Dowd stated: "The great advantage of the Sea Wing (sponsons) is that it leaves the paddler in a more stable position than before capsize." (Sea Kayaking, 1997, pp.90-95) In "Deep Trouble", 1997, sponsons are mentioned for emergency stability on pages 140, 153, and 182. These sponsons or "airbags" can be different shapes and CO2 inflated for immediate rescue from deadly waters in a few seconds, without any instruction or practice, on any kind of canoe or kayak. These sponsons or airbags can be rugged enough to be "almost bulletproof", like modern liferafts, yet fit into tiny containers molded to the sides of any canoe or kayak. They are an obvious means to save lives. Otherwise victims in the water will soon die, even in 70 degree Fahrenheit waters, where body heat is lost at a rate 25 times the rate of heat loss in air.


Chapter One: A Very Brief History of the Canoe and Kayak Murder Scam

Canoes and kayaks have always had the largest drowning death numbers, despite PFD use by up to 30% of dead victims in some years since year 2000, in the United States. Canoes usually have nearly twice as many fatalities as kayaks. (US Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database, BARD). "A total of 105 canoeists and kayakers drowned in 1998. Canoes and kayaks have the highest fatality rate of all boat types ñ double the rate of personal watercraft and 4 times higher than open motorboats." (Before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the U.S.House of Representatives, May 15, 2001, BOAT/U.S.)

US Coast Guard report 071-01: "Canoes and kayaks have by far the highest fatality rates per million hours of exposure (.42) as any other boat type".

This scandal is without precedent in any democratic country. The victims are in fact killed for the profits of the Canoe and Kayak Industry. Very small industry, very large cost to society. The kicker however, is that the victims die agonizing deaths. Drowning has been used as a torture for thousands of years. A Very painful torture, but not killing the tortured if they are allowed to draw a breath at the last moment. The American Canoe Association prevents that Last Breath, for dollars. In the US, paddling occurs all year round, compared to Canada. Just look at these quotes from the USCG-funded, American Canoe Association's "Critical Judgment 2":

"From the figures in Table 10, it appears that fatalities were evenly divided between calm water and water classified as choppy, rough , or very rough by the USCG. It is likely that the majority of people in the U.S. who go canoeing or kayaking prefer to paddle on relatively calm waters, such as small lakes, ponds, and quiet rivers." pp.22-23 "...The majority of these fatalities had more than 10 hours experience (71 %) with just less than a third reporting more than 100 hours of experience (Table 13)." p.23 "...If we assume that on a any given weekend day, there are 10,000 canoes and kayaks paddling America's waterways, then there are 10,000*104=1,040,000 paddler days each year when people are at risk. In the last two years for which data are available, the average deaths per year was 87. The unadjusted risk per paddler day is .00008 or 8 fatalities per 100,000 user days." p.27

One user day has 24 hours maximum, so 1,040,000 user days a year equals 24,960,000 use hours. 87 deaths per 24,960,000 use hours equals 3.49 deaths per million use hours, according to ACA "Critical Judgment 2".

I had thought that USCG report 071-01, reporting .42 canoe/kayak Deaths per million exposure hours Was Far Too Low, considering the death statistics of the Ford/Firestone scandal, over a decade, with millions more vehicles, many millions more use/hours daily, and only 200 deaths.

US Military Special Forces, 10th Airbourne, Fort Devens, MA, 200 mile ocean kayak race, the coast of Maine, between Military Kayaking Teams from about 12 NATO countries:
"basic, no nonsense...dramatically and...capabilities... It should be noted that within the North American civilian sea kayak industry there is some controversy...Sea Wings' direct competition with...the paddle float...the merits of Sea Wings...far outweigh those of the paddlefloat...During the IMKP 1994 we used Sea Wings with all our rescue boats as back-up flotation/stability for awashed kayaks needing assistance pumping out in heavy seas. In addition, IMKP's rescue kayak was fitted with Sea Wings on a permanent basis which allowed us to be far more stable in possible rescue operations...Sea Wings dramatically increase re-entry operations with capsized boats. Indeed, even with heavily loaded boats (those approaching 1000 lbs.) most paddlers can easily re-enter the kayak. However the most notable advantage of Sea Wings is with lightly loaded boats; ie, those kayaks which are far less stable (more tippy) than fully loaded boats. Recovery operations are far more difficult in these boats and most students have extreme difficulty in mastering the necessary techniques. This is compounded in heavy seas. Sea Wings offers an almost guaranteed method of re-entering a lightly loaded kayak even in heavy seas. Stability increase in heavy seas. Paddling in extremely heavy seas is difficult. Sea Wings offer the crews an additional method of dealing with such sea states. One of the most dangerous situations a detachment can find itself in is that of towing a disabled crew with full operational loads in heavy seas at night. The employment of Sea Wings dramatically increases the safety margin. In my opinion, this is one of the sponsons' most important contributions to MAROPS... As an historical footnote it should be noted that circumpolar kayakers (Greenlanders and Inuit) employed a similar sponson/ float for stability. It differed significantly though from Sea Wings in that it was free floating; i.e., there was apparently no harness system and stability came from pushing down on the float on the side of the kayak. In addition, during the late 70's and early 80's we employed a similar system with our commo boats. Waterproof bags were blown up and hand held to the sides of the kayak while communication was conducted. The point here is that the idea of some sort of support on the sides of the kayak for stability is very old and universal." Invitational Military Kayak Paddle 1994 Evaluation

The human body loses body heat in water at a rate that is 25 times the rate of body heat loss in air. The rate of heat loss is much higher than 25 times if the water is moving around the body. In other words, if the water is not perfectly calm but is moving by even small amounts of current or small waves. Also, the top thermal layer of  "warm" water, even in the hottest days of Summer, does not extend far into waters that are deeper than one's own height. There are a multitude of books detailing the varying of water temperatures, from "warm" to "hypothermic" within a short period of time, including Doug Stanton's "In Harms Way": The tragic sinking of the heavy cruiser "USS Indianapolis", the worst naval disaster at sea in U.S. history, July 30, 1945.

This is why death occurs so quickly in water. Hypothermia effects not only quickly cause the human mind to become impaired in judgment, but muscles are quickly affected. It is impossible to use hands and limbs normally after only a small lowering in body temperature.

According to a Transport Canada publication now available on the internet: "Hypothermia is your worst enemy...Even in July, a dunking in the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence can lead to total loss of manual dexterity within 5 minutes and death within 15 to 20." (Sea Kayaking Safety Guide, National Library of Canada ISBN 2-89101-179-1, 2003, p.55)

The human body continues to lose heat if the victim does not quickly get out of the water. After the extremities lose heat, the body core becomes affected. The human heart will beat irregularly and eventually cannot sustain life. All of this happens very quickly. It is easy to search the Internet regarding hypothermia. All waters in North America kill quickly. Even waters in Florida kill quickly, where so many canoe and kayak victims die. Usually the victim dies of drowning, when the head can no longer be held out of the water, the victim weakened by hypothermia, despite the victim wearing a PFD. Recently 2 eleven-year-old Girl Guides died of hypothermia only because the PFDs worn over their clothing held their faces out of the water. (Otherwise they would have drowned since they became unconscious fairly quickly after suffering from hypothermia.) And on February 26, 2005, two young schoolboys died in nearly identical circumstances near Suwannee, Florida.  North American waters induce drowning from hypothermia effects quite quickly, even in the hottest days of the summer, since the water is so effective at lowering body temperature to fatal levels. Darlington School teenagers Sean Wilkinson and Clay McKemie died in the waters near Suwannee, Florida, February 26, 2005 (wearing PFDs) after capsize of their canoe on a school trip from Rome, Georgia:

It is ridiculously easy to get victims out of the water so they can't die. Canoes and kayaks equipped with airbag sponsons are actually used by some Coast Guard and Lifesaving organizations around the world as rescue craft, to save the lives of kayakers and canoeists who have capsized. But canoe and kayak organizations are allowed to murder children for the profits of fraudulent instruction!

Even a member of the American Canoe Association's Hall of Fame, in the recent (2005) book "Expedition Canoeing" states: "The canoe-over-canoe rescue touted by the Red Cross and Boy Scouts is generally impossible to perform in a running sea. Far better to forget about the swamped canoe and gear and put your efforts into rescuing the paddlers" (p.202, Cliff Jacobson.)

However most other authors point out that getting victims out of the water usually capsizes the rescuing canoes if they don't have stabilizing sponsons. When I began canoeing at summer camp over 40 years ago, my YMCA camp knew that the traditional canoe rescues ("shaking out" and "canoe over canoe"), did not work. Especially in waves. The rescuing canoes were simply capsized as well. This was well documented in the tragedy on Lake Temiskaming, 1978 (12 schoolchildren died and one adult, who were all well-practised in traditional rescues.) The famous Canadian canoeist Bill Mason reversed his traditional rescue ideas after this tragedy, stating that these rescues simply cannot work, in his last book: "canoe over canoe...I have since changed my mind..." ("Song of the Paddle", 1988, p.126). In his earlier book "Path of the Paddle" (1984), he referred to the 13 dead from St. John's School on p.177: "No blame can be laid because they assumed help was coming." The "help" was the "canoe over canoe" rescue that he finally concluded was false, 10 years after C.E.S. Franks, concluded in "The Canoe and White Water", 1977, p.123: "...nearly useless...On a stormy lake where upsets are likely to occur, the water is often too rough and choppy." A year later, 13 died on Lake Temiskaming! We understood our duty to preserve human life at my YMCA camp. See major schoolchildren canoeing and kayaking tragedies: Lyme Bay, Temiskaming, Darlington School, Balsam Lake, Camp McDougall, for a total of 32 dead children, dying in terror! About 10-20 American and Canadian children die agonizing deaths every year, according to USCG and Red Cross databases.

It is ridiculous to suggest that victims should wear expensive wetsuits and dry suits in case they fall in the water, since these victims risk dying of heatstroke (hyperthermia) while paddling in warm air! And if they don't suffer heatstroke they will be very uncomfortable. Most people won't spend hundreds of dollars to be this uncomfortable, especially when this cannot save their lives.  If they do not get out of the water they will die anyway; although the agony of waiting for some rescuer to find them will be prolonged. Hands will soon lose a  grip on the capsized canoe or kayak, making a body floating alone in a PFD almost impossible to spot from a moving boat. Dr. Warren Gould and his friend from boyhood Marty Dismukes died in the realtively warm waters near Pensacola, Florida tied together, to increase the chances of being spotted in time.

See the Death at the Apostle Islands, Sea Kayaker, August, 2005, p.50, for a Wisconsin family. The Father tried to save his son by getting him out of the water, onto the rear deck of his kayak. But we know this is no way to save a human life! They capsized and of course hypothermia eventually killed another victim, who was deliberately denied a means to escape the water. This idea has killed about 1500 Canadians and Americans since 1994! Think about the 23 girls, ages 9 to 11, nearly dead at the Apostle Islands, (mentioned by the Professional Paddlesports Association, same home address as the American Canoe Association.) These people know that they are endangering innocent citizens, even children! August 4, 2005: "According to an article in the Minnesota-based Duluth News Tribune, Brian Carlson, owner of Brule River Canoe Rentals, said that he no longer plans to rent Lake Superior sea kayaks to a local campground after 23 girls, ages 9 to 11, were rescued on the lake after a line of intense thunderstorms and high winds swept the Apostle Island National Lakeshore area. Carlson stated that, "The girls were probably a little young and not strong enough…" However, some also question the guides' decision to continue with the trip despite a forecast predicting stormy weather. The rescue involved the Bayfield County Sheriff's Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, Red Cliff Police and the National Park Service. Following the rescue, Carlson and other employees spent eight hours retrieving 14 kayaks that were spread over three miles of Wisconsin coastline. The rescue is one of a half-dozen..."

Some Coast Guard Rescue organizations and Lifesaving organizations around the world now use the most popular, short (about 10 feet long) "recreational" kayaks, with "airbag" sponsons. These short kayaks have big cockpits that are awash during rescues, to provide neutral buoyancy ballast for greater stability. The flooded cockpit couples with the sponsons' buoyancy to provide much more stability than sponsons alone.

Years ago lifesavers used "sit-on-top" kayaks with built-in sponsons to get into rocky spots where normal Coast Guard Rescue Zodiacs could not go. (Nor helicopters with awkward slings, even if they were much more plentiful and able to arrive in time, since they risk crashing into cliffs, and risk losing rescue swimmers even if cliffs are not present.) However these "sit-on-top" kayaks do not have the stability of the short "recreational" kayaks, since there is no flooded cockpit to provide water ballast stability coupled with the sponsons. The "recreational" kayaks are much lower in the water too, making it much easier to clip victims to fore and aft decks. These kayaks are just a more modern and much more effective means to save lives than the old surf boards or paddle boards that lifeguards used to rescue drowning victims years ago. (They only cost $500 fully equipped to save lives.) Obviously a paddle is a much more powerful means of propulsion, and the sponsoned kayak with water ballast is much more stable and effective at rescuing victims from the water.

The sponsoned recreational kayaks are carried in the Zodiacs. They rescue dying paddlers by by quickly attaching them to the flooded recreational kayak. Then they paddle back to the Zodiac, without risk of wrecking a Zodiac on the rocks. Pretty simple and inexpensive. Why not equip all canoes and kayaks with $25 US Coast Guard CO2 Sponsons at the factory - for a self-rescue Level Flotation Standard - US law for all small boats for nearly 3 decades? Less expensive than leaving victims in the water to die. Blame the lobbying of the American Canoe Association.

All modern countries have a Level Flotation Law for small boats under 20 feet long.

You will eventually find the same law in Australia and the United States, for example:
USCG Level Flotation Standard  33 CFR 183. Issued April 18, 1977; Effective August 1, 1978  "Establishes level flotation standards on rowboats and outboard boats less than 20 feet in length, the boats most often involved in swamping and capsizing accidents, so that the boat will float level when swamped and provide a safe platform until rescue."

The USCG National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) also recognized Sponsons in the Minutes, 22 - 23 April 2002: "Mr. Tsuneyoshi had an observation then a question... He then asked where the ACA stood on automatic inflating sponsons for canoes." The USCG knows about "buoyant sponsons" and "...incorporation of buoyant sponsons exterior to the hull. Only the inherent reliability and fail-safe nature of a passive safety system", below. But the USCG is now part of Homeland Security bureaucracy that also directs FEMA, responsible for Hurricane Katrina. See the abstract below.

Abstract: National Transportation Safety Board Washington, D.C. 20594 Safety Recommendation Date: May 2, 2002 In reply refer to: M-02-1 through -4 Admiral James M. Loy Commandant U.S. Coast Guard Washington, D.C. 20593-0001

Admiral Loy knows that deadly, long, and narrow amphibious sightseeing vehicles, like deadly, long and narrow canoes and kayaks are prone to flooding and capsize, and need "...incorporation of buoyant sponsons exterior to the hull. Only the inherent reliability and fail-safe nature of a passive safety system can ensure the level of dependability essential to safeguarding the lives of passengers." p.5

"In summary, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard: Require that amphibious passenger vehicle operators provide reserve buoyancy through passive means,..." p.10

March 2002 Admiral Loy knows that $25 CO2 PFD Sponsons are the only means to prevent canoe and kayak deaths or amphibious vehicle deaths: "This extremely high fatality rate is due to victims having no means to get out of the water, whether or not wearing a PFD, succumbing to hypothermia, and drowning. The US Coast Guard needs to prevent these needless deaths, simply, reliably and inexpensively. This is easily accomplished by means of Inflatable PFD Sponsons, using the same reliable technology as US Coast Guard approved inflatable PFDs, but much less expensive."

Canoe and Kayak Safety must simply work, without complex instruction, training or practice: "...incorporation of buoyant sponsons exterior to the hull. Only the inherent reliability and fail-safe nature of a passive safety system can ensure the level of dependability essential to safeguarding the lives of passengers." p.5

Mr. M.D. Russell, Chief of General Law, USCG, has sent a letter to me indicating his ability to comprehend the consequences of this issue. The numbers of canoes and kayaks sold have steadily declined since 2001: 105,800 to 100,000 for canoes, 357,100 to 340,300 for kayaks. (National Marine Manufacturers Association website.) The ACA tells you they are hugely popular. This is a lie. They are in decline, as they complain: "Paddler", Mar./Apr., 2004, p.8 and Jan./Feb., 2004, p.8.

But despite this decline, there has been a marked increase of "sit-in recreational" kayaks" (41.2 % of all kayaks sold in 2001, 48.6 % of all kayaks in 2002.) This number, a 7.4 % increase, and 48.6 % of all 340,300 kayaks, is very significant for the American Canoe Association. Their fraudulent kayak instruction programs only focus on the Tiny numbers of much longer and narrower sea kayaks (only 2.9% of all kayaks sold! according to NMMA figures) and specialized whitewater kayaks (only 5.2% of all kayaks sold, on NMMA website) These kayaks, only 8.1% of all kayaks sold, have much smaller cockpits than recreational or sit-on-top kayaks (that actually have no cockpit at all, but do have built-in sponsons for superior stability.)

These young women died in recreational kayaks that represented 48.6% of all kayaks sold in 2002 and continue to be the most numerous kind of kayak, partly due to extremely low price ($500). Sit-on-top kayaks are 25.2% of all kayaks sold, touring 2.9%, whitewater 5.2%. The ACA has no kind of rescue for either canoes or this most popular type kayak, leaving these young women to die in the water, wearing a PFD or not:

Re: Friends Find Solace in Her Cheerfulness Officials Halt Search for Missing Bethesda 19-Year-Old in Waters off Cape Cod By Susan Levine Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, October 16, 2003; Page B02

The Mary Jagoda / Sarah Aronoff Kayak Safety Amendment H-4456:
"The families of the two missing young women, reached yesterday by Coast Guard Capt. Judith Keene, commander of Coast Guard Group Woods Hole, both said they would support the idea of having their daughters' names attached to the bill, which would become an amendment to current law. 'Both fathers answered the calls, and both thought it would be a good idea to do whatever they could to ensure that what happened to their daughters does not happen to someone else,' Keene said." Unfortunately, mandatory State PFD wearage laws cannot save their lives; since they had no means to escape the water, like Mr. Kyle and his son. (Mary is in the smaller picture, the only one I could find.)

The American Canoe Association could not exist without continuing USCG "Safety Exemptions" for canoes or kayaks. The American Canoe Association does not represent any US citizens in canoes and kayaks as you can see. A tenth percent of the user group, the ACA lobbies the USCG successfully to make canoes and kayaks as deadly as possible, to profit from deadly instruction:

"All national paddlesports organizations combined comprise just one percent of committed users and a tenth-percent of the total user group...To represent paddlers to regulatory agencies with legitimacy, an organization should represent at least 10 percent of the sport's committed users...The ACA is the paddlesport organization best placed protect paddlers from paddlecraft registration, required education and mandated PFD use...protecting our sport from needless government regulation." (Paddler, Sept./Oct., 2003, p.84)

This is very simple, for the benefit of lawyers and juries: At every point in the evidence, the American Canoe Association (ACA) deliberately and with full intent, recklessly and with utter disregard for the value of human life, makes canoes and kayaks as deadly as possible. To sell fraudulent and deadly instruction to make money, and stroke a power-hungry ego.

USCG Safety Exemptions:

"Dated: October 6, 1999. Terry M. Cross, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Assistant Commandant for Operations. [FR Doc. 99-27283 Filed 10-18-99; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-15-U
The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 (46 U.S.C. 4302) gave the Coast Guard the statutory authority to issue regulations establishing minimum safety standards for the manufacture of recreational boats and associated equipment. The Coast Guard subsequently issued the regulations that appear in 33 CFR Parts 181 (certification regulations) and 183 (manufacturing regulations). Those regulations establish standards for the manufacture of conventional types of recreational boats...the Coast Guard may issue exemptions from the regulations after determining that doing so will not adversely affect boating safety. Since 1972, the Coast Guard has granted exemptions from the regulations with respect to certain non-conventional boats including personal watercraft (PWC)...

The manufacturing regulations, in 33 CFR Part 183, intend to: (1) Reduce capsizings, swampings, and sinkings involving monohull boats less than 20 feet in length; (2) reduce the incidence of fires and explosions involving boats equipped with permanently installed gasoline engines; and (3) reduce falls overboard from outboard powered boats...The flotation regulations intend to ensure that manufacturers equip recreational boats with sufficient flotation material to induce people to remain with the boat when the boat becomes swamped with water. With sufficient flotation material, the boat will serve as a safety platform where people can remain until located and rescued. Flotation regulations require manufacturers to equip boats with enough flotation material to provide either basic flotation or level flotation depending upon the boat's propulsion system. A maximum persons capacity determination in accordance with the safe loading regulations is an essential part of the flotation formulas for both basic and level flotation...."

The US Coast Guard made the Level Flotation Standard Law for all small boats in the 1970's. But canoes and kayaks were given "safety exemptions". The first comment about the USCG Kayak/Canoe Sponson Study, at the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators' Boats and Associated Equipment Committee? (Check their website, click on this committee.)

"7. Review USCG study on supplemental flotation for non-powered craft... Snyder said none of these boats should sink. Boats under 20 feet with outboards must have level flotation why shouldn't paddlecraft?" Thank you Dick Snyder. A voice of commonsense America. There are many millions of others.

National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, (NASBLA) Boating Accident Investigation, Reporting and Analysis Committee Minutes, April 16, 2002: "As for non-motorized boats, several committee members reported receiving email from Tim Ingram, who is rather severe, but he got some attention. Perhaps sponsons are a good alternative. Frank Disbrow commented that about 50% fatalities in Connecticut are canoes and kayaks."

The USCG funded the ACA's "Critical Judgment: Understanding and Preventing Canoe and Kayak Fatalities" (2003). See page 14 of this American-taxpayers/victims funded study: "...the risk of capsize is higher...all paddlers must know what to do in the event of an upset and be skilled in getting themselves and their gear to shore or back in the boat. Many kayaks and certain types of canoes can be rolled back to the upright position after a capsize while the operator is still in the craft. In decked boats such as touring or whitewater kayaks...rolling can allow the boater to continue paddling immediately. Learning and practicing self-rescue and recoveries are integral and important responsibilities of prudent paddlers."

" In this book I would like to emphasize rescue techniques other than the Eskimo roll because a backup technique is mandatory...given that relatively few sea kayakers will ever roll successfully and because workable alternative techniques are too often neglected...The great advantage of the Sea Wing (sponsons) is that it leaves the paddler in a more stable position than before the capsize." (John Dowd, Sea Kayaking, 3rd edition, 1997, pp.90-95)

A reasonable person with a normal standard of respect for human life would naturally provide for the easy preservation of human life in such circumstances, would they not?

And they would be criminals in any civilized society for cruelly and deliberately killing hundreds and even thousands of victims in North America in cold waters, would they not? Waters are cold enough throughout North America to induce agonizing deaths by hypothermia and drowning any time of the year. (In Canada and the Northern States, the death rate is much higher since ice protects against these deaths for many months by preventing paddling.)

A fact noted by an important ACA Hall of Fame member in the recent 2005 book "Expedition Canoeing" states: "The canoe-over-canoe rescue touted by the Red Cross and Boy Scouts is generally impossible to perform in a running sea. Far better to forget about the swamped canoe and gear and put your efforts into rescuing the paddlers" (p.202, Cliff Jacobson of the American Canoe Association.) But most other authors note the victims in the water can't get out of the water either! Consider where to put these living bodies among the packs in a canoe, quite apart from the dangers of dragging victims over unstabilized gunwales, in contrast to the Pictures of two 10 year old Girls, with neither previous experience nor deadly, fraudulent instruction.

Another victim of negligence: see the Death of Jim Heil, Sept.14/02, Grand Rapids Press, Sept.16/02 illustrated. Just like other dead victims who were left in the water by companions, because the companion risked capsize too, trying to get the victim onto the rear deck of a kayak (or into a canoe) without sponsons, so that they could easily be paddled to shore. See the Apostle Islands death from the same circumstances above in Sea Kayaker, August, 2005, p.50. (Windsurfers and other rescuers have saved the lives of victims in the water, just by having a rescue platform stable enough to get them out of the water, without capsizing themselves.) This is pretty simple.

Canoe and kayak instructor groups, now do not want to risk showing the judge and jury of any court, just how "easy" their instruction is. In fact ACA canoe and kayak instruction denies the one essential item that can make canoes and kayaks into effective rescue craft: A CO2 sponson life raft. Or any type of sponson life raft.

What is preventing canoes and kayaks from creating a Life Raft in seconds, using simple, cheap ($50 US, factory installed) built-in Sponsons? These floats, each in a sleekly mounted container on each side of a kayak or canoe are marked "emergency-rescue". They are inflated by mouth in about 10 puffs, or instantly by means of a CO2 cartridge.

Once these Life rafts are created, each canoe or kayak (the more flooded the better) can be easily re-entered, even by disabled victims. The lower the flooded canoe or kayak is in the water, the easier getting back in.

Once out of the water, the victim's chances of life are much improved, since loss of body warmth in water is about 25 times the rate in air. Additionally, in a distinct advantage over airliner life rafts, the victim may paddle to shore at about 2 knots (like the 7 and 10 year old happy girls in the wooden canoe above.) Even if the victim cannot paddle to safety for some reason, the chances of survival are greatly increased. People have lived for days on Life Rafts, once they are out of the water.


Chapter Two: Fundamental Acceptance of the Basic Principles of Human Lifesaving in Canoes and Kayaks

My original canoe and kayak Life Raft sponsons (US Patent application 1987) are about 40 inches long, and 6 inches in diameter when inflated. These sponsons are not as powerful or as effective as the $25 CO2 Sponsons (US Patent #  6,343,562). At the time of the earlier patent, US Coast Guard approved CO2 "inflatable" PFDs were quite new. The CO2 gas cartridge inflator and the oral inflator were relatively expensive, compared to today. In addition, I had expected that instructors and the canoe and kayak industry would embrace sponsons most readily if they were as inexpensive as possible, and most importantly, could be immediately be fitted to any existing kayak by simply tying fasteners to existing deck hardware. So the value of these original sponsons could be easily demonstrated on any kayak. These sponsons could simply be clipped to these fasteners in an emergency and inflated by mouth. No need to bolt a sleek container to the side of a canoe or kayak. I had expected that this first generation sponson Life Raft, as advertised in magazines, would be readily accepted as common sense.

And initially these sponsons were quickly accepted:

1. The largest North American padding magazine: Canoe (now called Canoe and Kayak Magazine), July, 1993, p.66 stated: "Although the paddle float system has been widely promoted as the standard self-rescue device, sea kayakers should give serious consideration to the Sea Wing sponson system. The chief advantages are capsize prevention on both sides of the kayak and freeing up your paddle for other important work (like propulsion...Inflated the sponsons are 40 inches long, 6 inches wide, but hug the kayak closely so you can still paddle with minimum interference...The sponsons inflate quickly with a dozen puffs, making them ideal for any age paddler. I thought these were a better idea, and have turned my old paddle float bag into a camera case."

2. Sea Kayaker Magazine, Winter 1993, p.34, "Sea Wings to the Rescue": "So when Sea Kayaker gave me the opportunity to put Tim's product to the test, some friends and I put them to work in conditions ranging from the calm waters of a lake to three-foot following seas. We even tried them in turbulent water just beyond the surf zone on the barrier island between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean...Once you have the Sea Wings fitted and adjusted, its advantages over a paddle float become clear. To use a paddle float, a certain amount of instruction and practice is needed. But with Sea Wings, I simply told my volunteer how to snap the four buckles, inflate the sponsons, and climb back aboard. After forcing a capsize, he followed my directions and was back in his kayak without any problems. Even my larger, less-agile friends were able to crawl into their boats without much struggle, whereas climbing aboard with a paddle float, even in calm conditions, is not something everyone, particularly the sick and injured, has the agility or strength to accomplish. We had one friend pretend to be unconscious. While getting him back in his boat was a bit of a struggle, towing him was surprisingly simple. The drag was noticeable, but even though it was partially filled with water, the kayak remained remarkably stable.

The stability they impart to a kayak after reentry is Sea Wings' greatest strength. How often have you seen people using a paddle float complete a successful reentry only to capsize again (easy to do with a boat filled with water) while trying to free their paddle from the bungies or remove and store the paddle float?...With Sea Wings, even a water-logged boat is stable enough to be paddled away, before it's fully pumped out. Sea Wings can remain in place indefinitely...Sea Wings are simply the best and easiest-to-use self-rescue device on the market today."

3. Invitational Military Kayak Paddle Evaluation, 1994: "...basic, no nonsense...dramatically and...capabilities."

4. "A Major Development in Kayak Safety", Anorak, Spring 1993, p.7

5. "Sponsons Deliver Safety", Wavelength, Jan/Feb. 1993, p.5

6. "It's simple, sponsons work, the paddlefloat doesn't." Nigel Foster, Coach, British Canoe Union

7. "Worked well in heavy winds off Welsh Coast." J.J. Ramwell, Sea Touring

8. "Safety is a Hard Sell", Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, September 1992, p.22

These are a few of the reviews, to give the idea of how positive the initial reception was.

A Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue Officer left the Canadian Coast Guard Headquarters and visited a local kayak store in Victoria, B.C. in August 1994, to ask the instructors for their opinions on sponsons. They told him enthusiastically that sponsons were much better than a paddle float. This was the same general response that the US Military Kayakers wrote up in their Sponson Evaluation in 1994. But the owner of the store stated: "Sponsons prevent rescue". This Canadian Coast Guard "study" has apparently been "covered-up" for some reason. There have been many hundreds of Canadian deaths since 1994.

At this time, despite the obvious successful reception to this commonsense sponson safety, I was made aware that there was strong opposition to sponsons too. Wayne Horodowich, Instructor Trainer for the Trade Association of Sea Kayaking (now called the Trade Association of Paddlesports), initially endorsed the sponsons, that were generally regarded as far superior to paddlefloats at "Trade Days", 1993. This event preceded the annual West Coast Sea Kayaking Symposium by 2 days, so people in the industry could discuss issues. Not surprisingly, with so many deaths and close calls, "Safety" was always the hottest topic.

There were stories about Matt Broze "self proclaimed inventor of the paddle float" going home in a huff, after the "sponson endorsement". Others, while freely admitting that the sponson life raft concept was superior, saw no problem with still selling inferior safety ideas to the public. In fact it appeared that the more ideas they had to sell, the better it would be for "business".

Some said sponsons were "too safe" and that deaths were necessary to make the public respect kayaks (and canoes.) It also looked as if instructors were worried that the public could become independent of their instruction fees. More on this below, after the ACA letter.

(N.B. I mention canoes in this book since they have similar safety problems, and instructors also deny canoes any form of sponson life raft. However, there are almost no canoe symposiums. And no canoe symposiums are on the scale of the sea kayaking symposiums.)

These people appeared to have no concept of uniform safety standards to best protect the public. Despite the fact that uniform safety standards have been the core concept to all consumer products. For example pharmaceutical products and electrical appliances must past standards in order to be sold in the marketplace. Cars must have seatbelts etc.

In fact the general idea was to give all ideas, no matter how difficult to execute, equal value. As if the public after capsize had the time to go through the list of possibilities offered. Any perusal of the popular dozen or so sea kayaking books on the market will give one an idea of this wide variety of rescues sold to the public. The one thing they all have in common is that they lack the single necessity to prevent death: A means to get out of the water and stay out. A life raft concept is the world standard, to get victims out of the water and keep them out.

This is a pretty simple idea. If most people die in the water, then keep them out of the water and deaths will decrease.

This is one example, where no other known means could have saved this life:

"I am Austin Davis. My life was saved by your floats. [See article in Sea kayaker Dec 97] There was no way in my situation that any other means of recovery would have saved me or allowed me to get home upright in my hypothermic condition. Your opinion about the rolls and paddle floats mirror my real life experience. Thanks for the gear that saved my life. I hope the article in sea kayaker helps your cause."

Austin was sailing a 26 foot sailboat that suddenly sank about ten miles off the coast of Texas. He was using a sea kayak with sponsons as a tender to his sailboat, deploying sponsons when he needed more stability to paddle supplies to the mothership.

Suddenly, after his sailboat sank, he was floating in heavy, breaking seas at night with only the kayak nearby. He was able to clip on and inflate the sponsons (that were secured to the cockpit) and fortunately he had tied a paddle to the kayak. So without a pump or sprayskirt (these items are nearly impossible to use in these conditions anyway), he was able to paddle the flooded kayak about ten miles in heavy seas to shore.

He bought his sponsons in 1994. Very few sponsons are sold every year. Only a few hundred pairs. One wonders how many other lives could have been saved if the public were not deliberately lied to.

Wayne Horodowich, apparently under pressure in 1994 from other instructors, reversed his very positive 1993 position on sponsons and condemned them as unworkable. I have all of the documentation. He had told me of pressure from other instructors, and general disapproval of sponsons while filming the "Performance Sea Kayaking Video", referred to in the ACA letter to the Attorney General of Florida. But I only found out who these people were, including the ACA, much later. This was after I had finally sent letters to all Attorneys General in all States in 2001, below.

In the intervening years from 1994 to year 2001, I could only watch as the industry killed innocent people by expecting them to perform wildly impossible skills, that even failed expert instructors on unlucky days. The magazines were not interested in a rational discussion of safety. There were even organized sponson boycotts against any retailer that sold sponsons. The USCG sponson study has all of this documentation.

Instead, the impossible rescues included paddle float rescues that everyone already knew had deadly defects. And rolling was pushed as the best rescue, although experts routinely failed themselves, just like the World Champion Rollers of Greenland (Sea Kayaker Magazine, February, 2001, p.41).

I patented a type of float carried on the rear deck of kayaks, like the harpoon floats shown in photos of Arctic hunters. This invention carried a sleeping bag or other lightweight buoyant items, as well as flares and survival gear in pouches. This invention was able to get a capsized victim out of the water in seconds, to escape hypothermia. Like a very primitive life raft. (The Aleut, among other Arctic groups, used double harpoon floats, instead of a larger single type. These were held in the water for stability on both sides, like sponsons. However, they could not then paddle. It was risky to secure floats against skin covered kayaks for fear that a hole would be rubbed through the covering, with catastrophic results.)

The Canoe and Kayak Business did not want this float either. I had thought that an academic approach to canoe and kayak safety, using anthropological documentation, would make the industry see commonsense. No. They apparently enjoyed the profits of teaching more potential victims to be dependent on the "experts". And apparently, they enjoyed the power over life and death. We know how vulnerable the public is, in a situation that is apparently endorsed by Coast Guard officials.

I was repeatedly told that the US Coast Guard endorsed these instruction ideas, instead of sponsons. In fact, the US Coast Guard was deliberated misled. So the ACA tricked the Coast Guard to endorse paddle floats on USCG websites, although the ACA and most authors readily acknowledged the paddle float was very tricky.

I finally decided that only a built-in sponson system, factory installed to be inexpensive, and manufactured exactly like the Coast Guard approved Inflatable PFDs, (with gas cartridge and oral back-up inflation) was the only way to dramatically prevent these needless deaths. The Instructors obviously were more interested in profits and holding power over others' lives, to ever accept any device willingly. I had let enough years pass to see that there was no compassion for the dead or their loved ones. The Canoe and Kayak Drowning Business is truly a unique aspect of our society, that normally demands only the highest safety standards for all citizens.

I contacted the Departments of the Attorney General in all States as below:

From: "oldguy (Tim Ingram)" < (Tim Ingram)>
To: <>
Subject: Misleading Safety Information/Deceptive Marketing: Kayaks and Canoes
Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:06 AM

Dear Sir or Madam:

Re: Misleading Safety Information/Deceptive Marketing: Canoes and Kayaks

This public safety issue has resulted in hundreds of needless deaths in the US recently.

It speaks for itself, since the American Canoe Association in its' magazine "Paddler" acknowledges that fewer than 20 % of the public can "Eskimo roll" in a swimming pool.

I am registering a complaint with your department regarding the 2 major canoe and kayak magazines, and the American Canoe Association.

1. Canoe and Kayak Magazine
    Primedia Inc.
    10526 NE 68th Street, Suite 3, Kirkland WA 98033

2. Sea Kayaker Inc.
    7001 Seaview Ave. NW, Suite 135, Seattle WA 98117-6009

3. American Canoe Association
    7432 Alban Station Blvd., Suite B-232, Springfield, VA 22150

Both magazines and the ACA have been misleading the public with regard to canoe and kayak rescues since 1993, when both magazines first published articles acknowledging the superior safety of kayak sponsons. Please see  regarding the 1993 reports. I have original copies.

After the sponson reports these magazines were attacked by manufacturers, instructors, and advertisers who wished to continue teaching Eskimo Rolls and Paddlefloat Rescues in kayaks, that do not work reliably for most of the public, expert or novice.

The fundamental problem was that sponsons were so simple that most of the public could rescue themselves without much instruction or practice. There are now 12 different 20 second models, closed-cell foam, oral and gas cartridge inflatable sponsons.

These models adapt to the differing safety needs of all paddlers, and quickly fit to all of the different canoe and kayak designs. They offer differing levels of stability, ease of deployment and ease of re-entry. They can be as inexpensive as $5 for foam sponsons.

These magazines and the ACA refuse to teach use of these sponsons and advocate instead: rolls, paddlefloats and other rescue ideas that are not safe because they do not provide emergency stability.

The instructors and manufacturers think they will lose income. However, it is obvious that weather reading, realistic paddling skills, and risk management are more appropriate subjects than rescues that don't work.

As an example of misleading safety information, Canoe and Kayak Magazine states in Kayak Touring 2001, p.53: "There are many solo rescues available to kayakers, the Eskimo roll being the most famous and effective. It's also the hardest...An outrigger rescue with a paddlefloat..."

This is an obvious untruth. The "hardest" rescue is not the most "effective" since it is obviously is the least reliable. Few "expert" kayakers claim to have a roll reliable enough to trust their own lives. The ACA teaches this as a rescue, intended to save human life.

The paddlefloat rescue is extremely misleading and deadly, even to physically fit and very experienced kayakers. For example, in a recent issue of Seakayaker:

"However Reimer was an experienced sea kayaker...His Eskimo roll was not strong, so there was only his paddlefloat."
"Hanging on to his upside-down boat, he lifted his paddle over his head. In spite of the rough seas, he waved it back and forth..." (Sea Kayaker, June, '01, p.54)

If he were able to wave his paddle so easily, he could have easily clipped on sponsons in 20 seconds.

This man was killed by paddlefloat instruction, like hundreds of others, around the world since 1993. The ACA teaches this as a rescue, intended to save human life.

From the website

20 Second Sponsons

These are simply sponsons pre-inflated and secured on the back deck of kayaks.

So after capsize you simply clip on the nearest sponson (each Fastex clip near a sponson end, then shove the remaining sponson under the boat and clip it on.)

A 10 year old child can turn any ACA instructor into a FOOL in 20 seconds.

Clip, clip, the Fastex buckles and any kayak or canoe is stable enough to paddle fully flooded, to safety. The paddler gets warmed immediately. And the body core is out of cold water in 20 seconds. Plus Re-capsize protection.

1. The Instructor is still in the water.

2. The instructor denies the public re-capsize protection, even in a fully flooded canoe or kayak that can be paddled in 20 seconds.

3. The instructor kills people this way.

I have communicated steadily with both magazines and the ACA since 1993, pleading with them not to continue this misleading safety approach, that has such deadly results.

Recently a YMCA camp took a grade 6 class from Elliott Lake, Ontario in kayaks. Most were capsized in a sudden wind. Only by chance was a large powerboat alerted nearby. It radioed ahead so 3 ambulances were waiting at the nearest road to treat the children for hypothermia, shock etc.

Without sponsons no group of guides can safely rescue clients because they simply recapsize with no means of emergency stability. There are many deaths in canoes and kayaks in Canada and the US, as a result.

Twenty schoolchildren were rescued in Tampa Bay, Florida by the US Coast Guard, and treated for hypothermia. In the UK, 4 schoolchildren died, resulting in convictions for manslaughter.

YMCA camps and Boy Scout troops acknowledge their children are not safe with canoe and kayak safety instruction. However, majority use of misleading and deceptive safety instruction forces them to follow, despite reservations.

Please contact me as soon as possible since the numbers of deaths are growing.


Tim Ingram

231 Gordon Drive, Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada L9M 1Y2

Phone/Fax (705) 549-3722, email

The following two pages are the official response from the American Canoe Association. The magazines are still in hiding. You will note the scrbbling on these pages that were faxed to the US Coast Guard. The USCG is becoming quite vexed over these needless deaths. And they now do not trust the ACA.

See the below on pages 13 and 14, Canoe and Kayak Safety Scam: US Coast Guard Studies Device to Save Victims.
See this book at

Image #2: Page 1 ACA  letter

Image #3 Page 2 ACA letter

After you read this letter from the American Canoe Association (ACA), you will notice several things, apart from my scribbling.

1. This letter specifically avoids defending paddle float rescues and Eskimo rolling, although both were specific rescues in the letter of complaint to the Department of the Attorney General in Florida. This is part of the "Bait and Switch" fraud technique, that is used to sell all kinds of rescue ideas and expensive paraphernalia, that merely leaves victims to die in the water.

Of course it is impossible to defend either paddle float rescues or rolling when the ACA has already admitted that very few people can successfully perform either rescue in their own commercial magazine: "Paddler".

2. My complaint specifically is that the ACA teaches rescues for profit that kill many people and endanger many more. The ACA letter, initialled by their general counsel David Bookbinder, does not even defend these fraudulent and deadly rescues, but engages in a transparent game of "bait and switch."

3. The ACA letter clearly states their position that skills are much better than devices, despite the fact that PFD devices have been recommended universally as superior safety to swimming skills, (that obviously can fail even the best swimmer.) The two devices: life jacket and life raft have been the safety standard for all soldiers near water in both world wars. Life rafts and life jackets, (PFDs are a somewhat "cut-down" version of a life jacket), are the world maritime safety standard. The ACA obviously does not want any kind of "emergency stability" such as Life Raft Sponsons. As I told the Attorney General:

"These magazines and the ACA refuse to teach use of these sponsons and advocate instead: rolls, paddlefloats and other rescue ideas that are not safe because they do not provide emergency stability.

The instructors and manufacturers think they will lose income. However, it is obvious that weather reading, realistic paddling skills, and risk management are more appropriate subjects than rescues that don't work."

4. The ACA says it is not "anti-sponson", but then goes on to say on page 2:

a) "In addition to teaching skills as a means of re-entry, rather than relying on equipment that can be lost, forgotten, or broken, even as equipment there are significant disadvantages to using sponsons...they would create more of a safety problem than other techniques."

b) "I learned that a group of skilled paddlers experimented with them while filming Performance Video's Sea-Kayaking video, and found them difficult to deploy, flimsy, and generally of little or no value for re-entry."

Please note the Bait ("rather than relying on equipment") and the murderous Switch (that is mysteriously not even  mentioned as the supposed self-rescue, lifesaving alternative. The assisted rescues mentioned have killed the most children in all of the major, reported mass deaths of children in kayaks and canoes. Obviously this is quite misleading and deceptive.) The ACA is responsible for instruction that murdered 1000 US citizens:

Please Note:
a) There is no means of re-entry of kayaks "rather than relying on equipment...". The capsized victim flipping the kayak upright with little water left inside is an impossible task in capsizing conditions, or even in swimming pools for most people. Then the victim "scrambles" up the rear deck (with no emergency stability) and gets into the cockpit. There is No provision for re-flooding since the sprayskirt is not in place, nor any way to pump out the water, as in Sea Kayaker Magazine, February, 2003, p.29 below.

Of course there is no means to get back into a capsized canoe, that is of course flooded and has no means of removing the water.

The re-enter and roll-up technique expects the victim to re-enter the cockpit in the water, kayak upside down, or positioned carefully to lie on its' side. The victim must then know how to roll up, but the sprayskirt is still not in place, so water continues to flood the kayak. The Eskimo roll (if one does not manage to roll up) at least has a sprayskirt operating. However, as the ACA publishes in their magazine "Paddler", very few people can roll in a swimming pool, even once. So almost all people must exit the kayak, the sprayskirt must be pulled off, and the kayak obviously floods. And it is impossible to pump out the flooded kayak through an opening between the sprayskirt and the cockpit rim. "...It has two fairly serious shortcomings: You can't seal the sprayskirt, and you can't keep both hands on the paddle while pumping." (Sea Kayaker Magazine, February 2003, p.29)

The sprayskirt in an Eskimo roll, if it did save a few lucky and highly skilled victims, given the Greenland Champions failure to roll consistently and need a rescue boat, means that the kayak might not flood if the sprayskirt does not pop off the cockpit rim. (Although repeated rolls demonstrated in a swimming pool as a "tricks"demonstration, might eventually flood the kayak, since sprayskirts do allow some water inside. However, almost all capsized canoes and kayaks are never rolled, and flooded canoes and kayaks have the stability of a floating log. This is why most people die in the water. They can't get out of the water.)

The existence of re-entry rolls and the "dozen" other rescues underline the deadly foolishness of Eskimo rolls. (Rolls were in fact not to be found in the entire Canadian Arctic, nor most of Greenland or Alaska. Only isolated pockets have been identified by anthropologists. The native Arctic peoples did not need rolls to make death any more prominent in their lives!)

Please Note: Sprayskirts are failure-prone and tricky devices themselves. Human life cannot trust the integrity of such a device. Sprayskirts sometimes trap victims upside down and they drown.

"Lorne...tried desperately...He tried pushing himself out with his arms...but it was as if bungie cords kept pulling him back into the seat. A strong man, he pushed with his legs but could not counter the hold of the sprayskirt..." (Sea Kayaker Magazine, April 2003, p.49)

No children should be wearing sprayskirts in kayaks when many adults fail to find the sprayskirt grab loop, to escape the kayak after capsizing.  Sprayskirts are fussy, hot and ultimately failure-prone anyway. You simply deploy Life Raft Sponsons in seconds after capsize, and paddle to safety with re-capsize protection, even fully flooded.

*We would think that making canoes and kayaks as "user-friendly" as possible would be desirable, to sell more canoe and kayaks!

Please note that the ACA letter actually denies the only means to rescue canoes and kayaks: Sponsons. Without some type of sponsons the flooded craft cannot be stabilized, obviously. The victim cannot get out of the water, stabilize the kayak, pump out the water etc. And if a group of likewise vulnerable "rescuers" were to assist the victim, they cannot stabilize the boat and get it to shore when victims are more than one. The two counsellors at a sports camp on Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Thanksgiving Day, 1997 could only get one child to hospital for treatment of hypothermia. The other was left to die. When groups of children capsize, one by one, the assisted rescues of the guides are quickly overwhelmed, as in the case of the 4 dead students in the UK. Each boat must have a means of emergency stability or victims will likely re-capsize and die, even wearing PFDs.

b) The producer of the Performance Sea Kayaking Video, Kent Ford, is on the record that the paddlefloat does not work in waves for many experts. Kent Ford, Kayaking, 1995: "Self-rescues are much harder than assisted rescues. Getting water out of a capsized boat and getting back into the boat by yourself are tricky...Paddle Float...This works reliably in calm water without outside assistance, but paddlers debate its effectiveness in rough conditions. (pp.83-85)

This particular video was produced 1993 and was widely distributed in 1994. It featured Wayne Horodowich demonstrating the paddle float rescue in perfectly calm water. It also featured my old friends Lee Moyer and Ken Fink saying that people should not go out paddling when the winds create waves, in case people should capsize. (And of course this message means that they may die if they capsize, since they are denied the only means to escape dying in the water: Life Raft Sponsons.)

This video also shows the H2O team, the kayaking instructors from L.L. Bean, demonstrating the Eskimo roll. These people are very ethical. I have known Jeff Cooper, head of H2O, since 1993. During a demonstration of the paddle float rescue in the pool at the Maritime Education facilities in Castine, Maine, we both heard a "snap". The paddle shaft was broken by the expert in this demonstration. To his credit, Jeff made certain that this was pointed out as a problem with paddle float rescues. Most of the lightweight paddles cannot bear the weight on the paddle, and break. When I attended symposiums from 1989 to 1994, many of us saw paddle float rescues break the paddle. This was blamed on the user, rather than the technique. There are many references to this serious problem. More money goes to the paddle manufacturers.

There are many rolling instructors who know that rolling is so unreliable, even for experts, that the most reliable back-up  insurance is necessary. They also know the paddlefloat and any other "rescues" (except the sponson life raft) are even less reliable than the Eskimo roll.

It is a credit to professional instructors like L.L. Bean's H2O instructors that they favoured sponsons over the paddlefloat, like almost all books, magazines, and other safety conscious individuals in 1993-94.

Now L.L. Bean does not sell sponsons, according to my recent look at their online store.

5. The ACA letter not only contradicts the US Military Kayakers' Evaluation, most authors, and the commonsense of most citizens; but also, 1000 US citizens have died in kayaks and canoes since this video, the deadly position taken by the ACA at this time, and the deadly video itself, according to their letter above.

6. Essentially the ACA condemns the idea of 2 floats, creating a "life raft" from any canoe or kayak in 20 seconds. Mr. Black says, "ready to use foam sponsons on deck would severely compromise handling in any wind, thereby potentially endangering the paddler more than if sponsons were not present." He forgets that childrens' schoolbooks feature pictures of Eskimo kayaks, paddled with very large harpoon floats, larger than sponsons, in any weather that may be encountered while hunting. Why lie to children?

Expedition Kayaks are always paddled with large deck loads fore and aft of the cockpit, in the Arctic, Antarctic and Cape Horn regions. Sponsons can be 2 dry bags containing lightweight bulky items such as sleeping bags, or 2 rolled up foam sleeping mats. Mr. Black is greatly mistaken regarding deck sponsons and paddling in strong winds.

7. The ACA does not mention any canoe rescues. They do sell them. These are the traditional canoe "rescues" that killed 12 kids all at once on Lake Temiskaming. There are no working canoe rescues, (except for the sponson floats demonstrated by the 2 little girls). This fact has been known for decades.

Note: (in case you missed it above), American Canoe Association Hall of Fame member Cliff Jacobson in the recent 2005 book "Expedition Canoeing" states: "The canoe-over-canoe rescue touted by the Red Cross and Boy Scouts is generally impossible to perform in a running sea. Far better to forget about the swamped canoe and gear and put your efforts into rescuing the paddlers" (p.202, Cliff Jacobson of the American Canoe Association's Hall of Fame.) However, in Deep Waters, James Raffan notes that Jacobson's idea merely capsized more canoes, killing 12 boys and one leader, Ontario's Lake Temiskaming, 1978."

Also:  "But on the second fateful night of the camp, July 22, about 7:30 in the evening, Shea-Butcher, another leader, and thirteen boys loaded the big canoe and headed out into Balsam Lake... Somewhere in the middle of the lake, about two miles from shore... the canoe upset. Whether this was from a sudden gust of wind on an otherwise calm summer any case the big canoe upset. It had no air tanks, sponsons, or flotation chambers..." ("Deep Waters", p.108). This book and others recognize that without sponsons victims cannot get out of the water and succumb to hypothermia. Eleven died in those calm, warmer July waters, about one hour's drive from the outskirts of Toronto.

No authors now will state that victims can paddle a fully flooded canoe to shore. This is impossible. This was impossible for Earle Kyle. However some "canoe experts" continue to degrade victims by stating that they should have practised "this skill". Flooded canoes and kayaks cannot be paddled to shore without airbag sponsons or solid foam sponsons, to prevent capsize.

8. The assisted rescue that is recommended in the "bait and switch" of the ACA letter, instead of rolls and paddle floats, was the one that killed 4 school children in the UK (two 16 year old boys and two 16 year old girls on a school trip), 1994. The media outcry was so strong that a guide was finally convicted of manslaughter.


Chapter Three: Marketing of Canoe and Kayak Safety, Enron Style

Capt. D.C.S. Thompson, Principal Marine Surveyor, UK Coast Guard (re-named MSA under Margaret Thatcher), contacted me after this tragedy, following huge media coverage in the UK. Capt. Thompson was acting on the recommendation of Mr. Derek Hutchinson (a major author referred to in this book), that sponsons were necessary to prevent the continuing re-capsize of the students' kayaks, after the guides got them back in. Capt. Thompson mentioned that some UK experts complained that sponsons increased the "righting lever" of kayaks so much that kayaks with sponsons were in fact less stable in waves. (The US Military Kayakers did not complain of this! In fact their evaluation stated the obvious: Sponsons make kayaks much more stable in heavy seas or in surf landings when kayaks are more in danger of broaching and capsizing in large, breaking waves.)

This "righting lever" misinformation of course contradicts all known science. Only canoes and kayaks with very large righting levers have crossed Atlantic and Pacific oceans, using some type of sponson, or equivalent beam buoyancy. It is ridiculous to assert that narrow kayaks are more seaworthy. This is an obvious attempt to sell Eskimo rolling, in that rolling is perceived to be easier in narrower kayaks, and of course they are more likely to capsize, to encourage sales of rolling instruction.

Image #4: Letter, UK Student deaths, UK Department of Transport (See p.22 of book "Canoe and Kayak Scam Kills 1000 Americans" on for this document, that does not display well here.)

The sponson information was shared with Capt. Thompson's counterparts in the USCG (Mr. Rouncevelle) and the Canadian Coast Guard (Ms. Sandiford), in 1994. Of course I had no idea then, that instructor lobby groups prevented the Coast Guards from acting on the Sponson idea. That was 1000 deaths ago in the US and almost 500 Canadian deaths (according to the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association, an ACA clone, in the Winter 2003 issue of their commercial magazine "Kanawa".)

It is beyond me how anyone in society has the nerve to murder (what else is it?) so many children, and innocent adults.

The US Coast Guard has met repeatedly with the ACA over the years, asking them how deaths could be reduced. The ACA offices are just across the river from the US Coast Guard offices in Washington D.C. The USCG was lied to by the ACA and 1000 American people died.

The US Coast Guard was deliberately lied to, for over ten years now. Legal authorities depend on organizations to tell them the truth.

Like any government organization, The US Coast Guard depends on honest "expert" opinion.

I had no idea, years ago, that the US Coast Guard based policy decisions on the information given to them by the American Canoe Association (ACA). I had thought that the ACA only dealt with white water safety on rivers, using entirely different craft, and whitewater deaths result from entirely different factors. Not hypothermia, due to not being able to get out of the water. A Sponson Life Raft will not help anyone who is already close to shore and pinned underwater.

The US Coast Guard finally, officially "studied" sponsons as a result of my many weekly "newsletters" to them for many years. They were kind enough to do this, including the "brief history" with my US patents. However, this study totally mis-states the findings of the US Military Special Forces Study* from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, to appease the interests of the ACA and other rabid paddling groups. I can see how this tiny group of USCG officials can be easily bullied (and just as easily replaced, "fired", by Homeland Security.) You will note near the beginning, a reference to the suggestion of a canoe and kayak Level Flotation Law being applied in the 1970's. This earned the USCG employees a flurry of angry threats to contact "members of congress" etc. I am sympathetic to USCG officials. But we cannot allow the truth to be buried and hundreds of dead American citizens to be killed for profit and sick powers over life and death.

Mr. Kyle's family deserves the truth about his death and the death of young Nicholas. A few years ago the bodies of a loving Dad and his young son were found in Yellowstone Lake after their canoe capsized (winds can erupt without warning on any waters anywhere.) This Dad died trying to get his son into a PFD. He was "blamed" for not wearing a PFD; although this would not have saved them, any more than Mr. Earle Kyle and Nicholas. These tragic deaths are very sad. PFDs prolong the agony of knowing that they both will soon die, and the smaller body succumbs to hypothermia first. As a former YMCA counsellor, canoe instructor and scoutmaster, these easily preventable deaths are hugely disturbing. I hope that the Great State of Minnesota will act now. Tim Ingram, home phone 705-549-3722

The reader can see from this process that L.L. Bean and other large retailers have initially sold sponsons, but then discontinued sales. In the recent US Coast Guard Sponson Study, commissioned by the USCG, information regarding actual organized harrassment and boycotts of stores selling sponsons has been provided. (But no information about these "safety" boycotts are in the USCG study. I have all of the emails etc.) REI for example, the largest outdoor retailer in the world, sold sponsons on the internet in 1997. Then they suddenly and strangely discontinued this.

Sponsons make great sense to people with much experience on large sailboats or other similar craft. These people know that devices such as life rafts and PFDs save lives. However the ACA and canoe and kayak instructors do not accept this reality. They are willing to expose the public to death. And the many instructors who do not subscribe to this terrible crime are forced to "toe the line" or face threats and economic boycotts.

Most canoe and kayak instructors are not murderers. They may be "followers", but most do not have any trouble following the concept of a built-in canoe and kayak sponson life raft, unless they truly enjoy killing. I have met some people in the canoe and kayak industry, and the ACA, who apparently do enjoy killing; apparently for the pleasure of dominating other people, and controlling "life over death". This quality is identical to other murderers, who derive a sense of self-importance and power; all part of the documented psycho-sexual gratification for murderers.

Personally, as a former YMCA counsellor and Scoutmaster, I find this all very repellent.

I shall do whatever I can to effect legal consequences for the many canoe and kayak murders (what else are they?).

I might point out that the US has many organizations that are aware of this scandal, apart from the US Coast Guard. For example, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), is located in Washington, D.C., like the US Coast Guard and the American Canoe Association (ACA) lobby group. The CPSC has actually phoned me at home to encourage me to keep up my protests.

The CPSC is responsible for the safety of consumer products, but canoes and kayaks are "boats", even though they are sold by Sears and Costco just like car seats for infants. So the US Coast Guard is the legislated organization to become involved, although canoes and kayaks are sold as a consumer item. I don't blame the USCG for 1000 deaths. (It is easy for an unethical organization like the ACA, posing as "interested in safety", to trick or threaten anyone, even the small numbers of officials responsible in the USCG. They can be easily replaced in the political climate of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.) The USCG is familiar with "big" boats. The CPSC would have fined the canoe and kayak industry years ago, at a minimum, just as they fine retailers millions of dollars for selling defective car seats for infants. The CPSC has direct contacts to the US Congress.

Fortunately, the US Congress and Coast Guard are well aware now of the terrible rate of death for canoes and kayaks. Citizens are much safer in the average car (even a Ford/Firestone SUV), than in any canoe or kayak, thanks to the perfidious behaviour of the ACA and other instructors who "tag along"; misleading people for profit and enhancing their own egos, by proving their "superiority" over other citizens in kayaks and canoes.

*As a footnote to this behavior, the ACA and others have avoided an opportunity to both attract new customers through real canoe and kayak safety, but also they have missed the opportunity to transform canoes and kayaks into effective Rescue Craft, capable of rescuing anyone dying in the water. This has been a major business opportunity to promote this tiny industry: Lost because they insist on making canoes and kayaks as deadly as possible!

This could not have happened at my YMCA camp forty years ago. The YMCA held that all human lives were equally valuable!

This story is perhaps inevitable in a time when corporations like Enron for example, can steal from society and record a profit, until caught.

The largest North American padding magazine: Canoe (now called Canoe and Kayak Magazine), July, 1993, p.66, stated: "Although the paddle float system has been widely promoted as the standard self-rescue device, sea kayakers should give serious consideration to the Sea Wing sponson system. The chief advantages are capsize prevention on both sides of the kayak and freeing up your paddle for other important work (like propulsion...Inflated the sponsons are 40 inches long, 6 inches wide, but hug the kayak closely so you can still paddle with minimum interference...The sponsons inflate quickly with a dozen puffs, making them ideal for any age paddler. I thought these were a better idea, and have turned my old paddle float bag into a camera case."

Next year, under marketing and advertisers' pressures:

"You have just inadvertantly discovered the outer limits of your kayaks stability, and although you're splashing around as a swimmer, you'd rather get back into your boat. If you've thought ahead, and done a bit of swimming pool or warm water practice, it won't take long.

Let's clear up one thing. The quickest way of going from upside down to right side up in a kayak is an Eskimo roll. That said, rolling a cruising kayak is hard. Only a tiny percentage of boats themselves are set up so a roll is even possible. In most cases, the paddler will simply fall out of the overturned craft...

One of the easiest to learn self-rescue techniques is the paddlefloat." (Kayak Touring, 1994, p.55)


"The Paddlefloat is not really a rough water rescue. During trials I found the SEA WING (sponsons) ... very comforting. I paddled out to sea in rough, windy conditions...I was able to sit on my rear deck-not something I would normally do at sea...The rescue potential is obvious." (Derek Hutchinson, The Complete Book of Sea Kayaking, 1994, pp.104-111)

"Once you have the Sea Wings fitted and adjusted, its advantages over a paddle float become clear. To use a paddle float, a certain amount of instruction and practice is needed. But with Sea Wings, I simply told my volunteer how to snap the four buckles, inflate the sponsons, and climb back aboard...Sea Wings are simply the best and easiest-to-use self-rescue device on the market today." (Sea Kayaker Magazine, Winter 1993, p.34, "Sea Wings to the Rescue")

"It's simple, sponsons work, the paddlefloat doesn't." Nigel Foster, Coach, British Canoe Union

"A Major Development in Kayak Safety", Anorak, Spring 1993, p.7

"basic, no nonsense...dramatically and...capabilities... It should be noted that within the North American civilian sea kayak industry there is some controversy...Sea Wings' direct competition with...the paddle float...the merits of Sea Wings...far outweigh those of the paddlefloat." Invitational Military Kayak Paddle 1994 Evaluation

Sea Kayaker Magazine, Oct. '99, pp. 48-55 describes the paddlefloat:
"Getting up onto the deck can be difficult enough let alone once it is deployed. A strong gust...almost throws me back into the cold water. [I] struggle to secure the outrigger...difficult to get the other blade under the first web strap...the kayak has spun around. Each wave now lifts the [float]. I am in constant danger of flipping over especially. It takes a long time to [pump out]... [There was a] rather precarious moment of removing the paddle from under deck rigging... There are limits...your kayak can come crashing down on is easy to submerge the float or even break the paddle. The most difficult moment associated with the use ... comes once your kayak is pumped out and you are ready to go. In order to retrieve the paddle-float paddle, you must reach outward and backwards to detach the arrangement...try to time...between wave crests."

Sea Kayaker Magazine, (April '98, p.19) describes sponsons: "...provide additional stability to help prevent a capsize or to assist with a reentry after a capsize. They have the advantage that it is easy to paddle the kayak with them in place."

Sea Kayaker Magazine, (April '99, pp.26-31) describing a deadly paddlefloat adventure: "His shivering had grown so intense that Bob figured that if he went over again, it would be the end of him...Given the difficulty of reattaching the skirt...not even attempt to retrieve the pump..." The 4 paddlefloat attempts nearly killed this man: "The rescue volunteers...Bob trembled so violently that they could not measure his pulse..."

Repeated Capsizes Until Hypothermia: Sea Kayaker Magazine, (Oct. 2000, p.48) describes another man nearly killed by a paddlefloat. Able to get back in many times, but always recapsizing until he luckily is seen, and rescued by a larger vessel.

Nearly Dead, revived in hospital. Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, (Aug. 2000, p.21): A young man, fit enough to re-enter several times using a paddle float, repeatedly re-capsizes. An experienced surfer, he paddles to shore lying on the rear deck, but almost dies of hypothermia. With sponsons he would have not re-capsized, and his body core would have been out of cold water, warmed by paddling to shore, and insulated by the snug fitting, foam PFD.

Sea Kayaker Magazine (Feb.'97, pp.38-41) says that the paddlefloat rescue can be "impossible" for people: no paddle to brace with, while retrieving the float and paddle; actually more vulnerable than before the first capsize, when they had a paddle to brace with.

Dozens of other articles mention the float rising in waves to flip the paddler back in while pumping out, or fitting the sprayskirt. Wind catches the "balloon" to flip them as well. Wooden and synthetic paddles alike, are broken by the paddler's weight while using a paddlefloat. If a pump malfunctions or is lost, no self rescue is possible, unlike sponson rescues. Even if the pump and sprayskirt are available, no self-rescue is possible: "...It has two fairly serious shortcomings: You can't seal the sprayskirt, and you can't keep both hands on the paddle while pumping." (Sea Kayaker Magazine, February 2003, p.29)

"I have seen enough people floundering with paddle-floats in even one-foot seas that..." (G. Ruta, Atlantic Coastal Kayaker, Oct.'98, p.4)

"...using the's much harder than it sounds..." (D. Stuhaug, Kayaking Made Easy, 1995, p.114)

"...paddlers debate its effectiveness in rough conditions." ( K. Ford, Kayaking, 1995, p.85) Mr. Ford is the producer of the Performance Sea Kayaking video mentioned in the ACA letter to Florida's Attorney General, above.

One curious aspect of this fraud is its' obvious nature: "There are many solo rescues available to kayakers, the Eskimo roll being the most famous and effective. It's also the hardest." Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Kayak Touring, 2001, p.53. This statement is intrinsically contradictory in reference to any concept of rescue. And of course this stupid statement is contradicted below, by all of the many rescues that are needed as well, because of the failure-prone nature of the Eskimo roll. (At the annual Rolling Championships in Greenland, the World Champs need a rescue powerboat or they die, since they fail to save themselves so often! (Sea Kayaker Magazine,  Feb. 2001, p.41) Of course, after rolling once, the expert is merely in the same capsizing conditions again. How intelligent is that?

"A capsized paddler who Eskimo rolls is still in the same conditions that capsized him or her in the first place, and with each roll he or she will take on more water, lessening the kayak's stability." (Matt Broze, Deep Trouble, p.91)

" In this book I would like to emphasize rescue techniques other than the Eskimo roll because a backup technique is mandatory...given that relatively few sea kayakers will ever roll successfully and because workable alternative techniques are too often neglected...The great advantage of the Sea Wing (sponsons) is that it leaves the paddler in a more stable position than before the capsize." (John Dowd, Sea Kayaking, 3rd edition, 1997, pp.90-95)

The most "effective" rescue is the one that saves lives. It cannot be "hardest", hard, difficult or failure-prone in any way. Like CO2 sponsons that are manufactured identically to Coast Guard approved CO2 inflatable PFDs! That create a Level Flotation Standard rescue platform for all canoes and kayaks. (A rescue platform that can be paddled to rescue numerable victims from the water. Some Coast Guard and rescue organizations in the world use short, "recreational" kayaks with sponsons, carried aboard fast Zodiac powercraft that are vulnerable close to rocky coastlines. The short sponsoned kayak is paddled among the rocks, cockpit fully flooded for maximum water ballast, to quickly clip the victims to fore and aft decks. Then it is paddled back to the Zodiac. (This superior rescue craft, that is excellent for tricky, broken ice rescues too, costs about $500 US.)

Very good examples of the evidence for criminal fraud are found on pages 117-132 of "Canoe and Kayak Scam Kills 1000 Americans: US Coast Guard Studies Device to Save Victims".

"We can start this chapter by examining a recent sea kayaking book that is conspicuous for having absolutely no references to sponsons, despite this book acknowledging many dangerous situations for which almost all other authors have suggested sponsons! This person, according to the American Canoe Association's magazine "Paddler", was responsible for some of the ACA's ideas about sea kayaking.

John Lull, Sea Kayaking Safety and Rescue, 2001:

"If you capsize and can't perform an Eskimo roll or fail to execute your roll, your only to exit the kayak and then reenter. Because a partly swamped kayak is highly unstable...With the aid of another boater, the process of emptying water from the boat and reentering is relatively easy." (p.47.) Bait.

"Don't let go until the rescued ready to go. I've seen a paddler immediately capsize again after being rescued...The rescue had to be performed all over again, and the swimmer was very cold by the time it was over." (p.57) Switch.

In capsizing conditions, what determines that the "rescued ready to go"? (It has taken ten pages of this book, as you see, to arrive at this: from "relatively easy" as Bait to "immediately capsize again" as Switch.)

$25 CO2 Sponsons inflate in a second, with no training or previous experience, to get out of deadly waters and stay out!

What prevents re-capsize in the same conditions, a situation that has killed hundreds since 1993? (See Sea Kayaker Magazine article below.)  Ready to avoid another life-threatening capsize. How does anyone determine this realistically? The victim is already wet and more tired than before. But above all, the victim is not in a more stable, secure or safe condition than before capsize. There is no stabilizing life raft. Why not?

If human life were valued, then a canoe or kayak CO2 life raft to paddle to shore, (and pick up other victims), no matter what, entirely flooded or not, would be necessary.

This is what killed the 4 schoolchidren in the UK, as well as hundreds of others. No means of stabilizing sea kayaks (or canoes) in emergencies!  The assisted rescues above, in this book, are criticized for many reasons: The kayak is too heavy to lift over another one, these rescues must be practised a lot for any chance at working, these rescues that might appear to "work" in swimming pools are not reliable in waves and cold waters of the real world, etc.

Bait (assisted rescue), and Switch (everthing must work perfectly for success): So the victim is blamed for the failure, and any deaths.

Runaway Kayak:

"Have the swimmer climb onto your rear deck and lie prone,...Don't use this method unless you have good bracing skills and a solid roll, otherwise you may end up in the water too." (p.63)

(See Death of Jim Heil, Grand Rapids Press, Sept 14, 2002). And the posthumous award by Canada's Governor General to another victim of this, Mark Seltzer of Toronto, Ontario. See the Death at the Apostle Islands, Sea Kayaker, August, 2005, p.50, for a Wisconsin family. The Father tried to save his son on the rear deck. But we know this is no way to save a human life! They capsized and of course hypothermia eventually killed another victim, who was deliberately denied a means to escape the water. This idea has killed hundreds of Canadians and Americans who have taken victims aboard canoes and kayaks since 1993!)

"This is a marginal solution...It might be a reasonable choice if you are close enough to shore that you can carry the swimmer to safety should you fail to catch up to the runaway kayak." (pp. 63-64)

(Why not stabilize the rescuer's kayak so that it becomes capable of rescuing the victim?)

Obviously as the author says, the runaway kayak is unlikely to be caught, and some type of emergency sponsons to enable both victim and rescuer to paddle to shore would be commonsense, avoiding deaths. But the author unrealistically contradicts himself with a Bait (more practice) and Switch ("swimmer and kayak need to be reunited to avoid serious consequences...Capsizing at sea can be a traumatic experience..." p.64)

So why no built-in 5 second life raft capable of getting rescuer and at least one swimmer to shore?

Apparently there is an endless list of Switches to go with the "rescue" Bait: "If you discover a technique that works well for you, use it. Just make sure it works in wind and rough water." (p.66)

The world is waiting to find out what this "rescue" would be, since Mr. Lull has no suggestion in an entire book! Bait and Switch canoe and kayak rescues are very deadly. Instead of standard, built-in, uniform safety that is not dependent on hundreds of different hard-to-foresee variables: including conditions, enough fitness, and practice, to mention only three.

Sea Kayak Rescue, 2001, R. Schumann and J.Shriner, p.45: "The Paddlefloat Self-Rescue is a great first rescue for someone getting started. It requires some extra gear and lots of practice to stay sharp..."

(Obviously this is a highly unreliable rescue, as most authors state, at least between the lines. Author's Italics.)

"The reenter and roll is potentially the fastest solo reentry in this book. Where the Reenter and Roll really comes into its own however, is in rough seas, because it skips the vulnerable part of..Paddlefloat which you climb on top of your kayak and try to balance." (p.64)

Just to compare:

"Practice is the vital ingredient in learning the paddlefloat rescue...Without practicing this rescue in a variety of conditions, the paddlefloat will do you no good." (John Lull, Sea Kayaking Safety and Rescue, 2001, p.74)

"There are two advantages of the sponsons over the paddle float: first, you have support on both sides of the boat, not just the paddle float side; and second, you have a paddle to use and a stabilized boat once you are back in the cockpit." (David Harrison, Sea Kayaking Basics, 1993, pp.55-56)

"In a traditional kayak, after you flop over you have but two choices: roll up or swim. Once you're out of the traditional kayak it is extremely difficult-even for a trained and skilled paddler-to reboard. Hundreds of pounds of water are sloshing around inside, making the kayak very unstable, and you're going to have to balance your boat in the conditions that put you over in the first place while also attempting to remove the water." (Dennis Stuhaug, Sit-On-Top-Kayaking, 2000, p.40)"

"The ability to perform a self-rescue is an essential safety skill for all sea kayakers...A partly swamped kayak is unstable; it is difficult to climb back into the cockpit without some way to stabilize the boat. The best solution is to climb in underwater and roll up...Of course this will only work if you can perform an Eskimo roll...Another option...However, due to it's (sic) greater complexity, the paddlefloat rescue is not as practical in wind and rough water as a reentry roll." (p.69)

Of course the paddlefloat rescue originally was supposed to be a back-up for failed Eskimo rolls. The question here to be asked: How does the paddler not re-capsize after a reenty roll when the kayak is obviously partly swamped and unstable, as the author said above: "Because a partly swamped kayak is highly unstable..." (p.47)

You need to go to p.82 before you find the Switch on the reentry roll Bait: "The kayak will be unstable until most of the water is pumped out, so be ready to brace or roll again."

(Note that it has already been documented in Sea Kayaker Magazine and elsewhere, that a pump and sprayskirt do not permit you to pump out the water!)

This is called a "rescue" (Bait), but as we see on p.82, it is actually a dangerous Switch, reported by the author to be safer than a paddlefloat rescue. Actually the kayak is full of water, unstable, and likely to re-capsize! So this instruction is actually deadly and misleading compared to a CO2 sponson Life raft that two girls, 7 and 10 can operate without any previous experience!

A final note: "Once you know how to roll, learn the reentry roll and make it your primary rescue." (p.86) This book is sold to the public. It is no wonder that one thousand US deaths have occurred. This book at least recognizes that the paddlefloat is not a realistic rescue, just as Canoe and Kayak Magazine, and Sea Kayaker Magazine printed in 1993!

Mr. Lull's book not only does not mention sponsons, his position in this book is as dangerous as the ACA instruction: Leaving victims in the water to die with no means of escape.

Let's go to Sea Kayaking, by John Dowd, 1997. Mr. Dowd has much more open ocean experience than other authors. He started both the Trade Association of Sea Kayaking in 1989, and Sea Kayaker Magazine before that. I last saw him at the US Military Kayakers symposium in 1994, where he recommended sponsons, just as the military kayakers had done in their evaluation. He is very familiar with the folding kayaks used by military forces. As well as the use of these kayaks far from land, unlike narrower kayaks that would be extremely risky in view of capsize or other problems arising. Most folding kayaks have built-in sponsons, that give them a degree of seaworthiness that is impossible to achieve with narrower kayaks.

Mr. Dowd understands that wider kayaks are more stable.

First quote:

"The re-entry and roll is another of those techniques that are good training and work fine in warmed pools or for skilled paddlers who have been careless, but it is really a step beyond competence at rolling and highlights the paradox that if you can do it, you will almost certainly have precluded yourself from the necessity to do so. Furthermore, the conditions that caused the capsize in the first place will still be there when you come up, and the chances are that the cockpit will have scooped up a tubful of water that destabilizes the boat." (p.91)

Mr. Dowd, unlike Mr. Lull does not do a Bait (re-entry and roll), then a Switch, leaving the paddler in a more unstable boat than before capsize, as Mr. Lull says above: "The kayak will be unstable until most of the water is pumped out, so be ready to brace or roll again." p.82.

It is difficult to comprehend how an author like Mr. Lull can publish a book entitled "Sea Kayaking Safety and Rescue", in which his recommended rescue leaves a victim worse off than before capsize, unless one is aware of the deliberate ACA Bait and Switch Fraud techniques, that leave the public with no means of escaping death in the water.

In contrast, Mr. Dowd in Sea Kayaking, 1997, states:

"Remember, the self-rescue method that you rely on should get you out of the water fast and leave you in a more stable position than you were in when you capsized." (pp. 91-92)

It should be noted that these books were written before built-in CO2 gas sponsons were widely advised. The concept of the life raft is obviously far superior than any kayak or canoe rescue ideas described. The canoe and kayak sponson life raft is able to be paddled to shore with victms, and also rescued swimmers hanging on top of decks or inside canoes.

In this sense the canoe or kayak becomes an effective rescue craft in its' own right. Not just an ordinary canoe or kayak.

Imagine if the canoe and kayak industry wanted to sell more boats than the current US market. Sell canoes and kayaks as not only much safer, with a built-in life raft, but also as a rescue boat, capable of rescuing other swimmers in the water and saving lives! Canoes and kayaks could be seen as a positive watersafety resource everywhere, instead of the deadliest boats in the world!

And this costs only $25 each CO2 sponson, built-in at the factory, on each boat. It makes all of the Bait and Switch rescues murderous in comparison. And makes contemporary ACA instruction a means of deliberate murder. Just ask any judge or jury in a swimming pool to compare!

Mr. Lull had some help with his book from Matt Broze, co-author of  "Deep Trouble", a book that uses stories from Sea Kayaker Magazine to show how deadly canoes and kayaks are, with no means of emergency stability (the sponson Life Raft). No wonder well over one thousand US canoe and kayak deaths occur.

This is taken from the website owned by Mr. Broze, with my comments in brackets throughout, so no-one can complain about anything "taken out of context":

"We recommend you learn to Eskimo roll your kayak. This skill is potentially more valuable to sea kayakers than river kayakers because the distance to shore can be so much greater. (Indeed. Whitewater deaths are not only a small fraction of all canoe and kayak deaths because the shore is close by, but also there are almost no whitewater deaths by hypothermia. In contrast, almost all canoe and kayak deaths are due to hypothermia because victims cannot get out of the water.) Because capsizes are so rare while sea kayaking the value of learning to roll is not nearly as obvious as it is to a whitewater paddler. You will probably need expert instruction. Contact a club or kayak shop to find classes. Incidentally, it is easier to roll most gear laden sea kayaks than it is to roll an empty river kayak. (Rolls are not easier. In fact this statement is contradicted by almost all other authors, including Mr. Broze in this very piece! Read the following qualifications next.) At least if the gear can’t seriously shift to one side, side support at the seat keeps you from shifting to the side, and adequate knee braces are present. The additional weight acts as ballast and helps finish the roll. Although the motion is slower getting started--it is more like a thigh pull than a hip snap--once the rotating motion is present the momentum can pull you up out of the water like a punching dummy. Please quit using that sorry old "heavy gear laden kayak" excuse I hear so often for not learning to roll. Learn to roll the kayak you will actually be using both with and without a gear load." (Another statement of the Bait and Switch technique. The potential victim must practice a great deal, using various loads to be a success, even though the Greenland Champions must use a rescue boat since they fail to roll so frequently, despite constant practice.)

"Practice other rescues to back up your ability to Eskimo roll. (If the roll is such a good idea, why so much focus on the other Bait and Switch back-up "rescues"?) Even the best rescues are marginal if they haven't been practiced. (Even back-ups are so unreliable that they must be practised also: Why are they called back-ups, if they are so failure-prone?)  Rescue practice in a pool can be very valuable, but you should understand that a rescue which works in a heated pool with empty kayaks can give one a false sense of security. Wind, waves, cold water and 150 pounds of gear create a far more difficult situation. (Indeed. Rolls, and all Bait and Switch "rescues" obviously cannot be trusted with human life. The only rescue is the world maritime safety standard: The Life Raft, created in seconds by CO2 Sponsons.) There is a wide variety of rescue techniques described in kayaking books, and it is nice to be aware of them; however, many work only under ideal conditions. Rescues that require the lifting of one kayak and rocking it over another to empty it of water risk serious damage to many kayaks and become nearly impossible with a gear load."

"The best rescues require little or no help and do not require lifting and dumping the kayak. They get you out of the water quickly to minimize your exposure to hypothermia and allow you to aid in the pumping or bailing of your kayak. They should also be simple and easy to execute with a minimum of extra gear if any. The best rescues are still a poor second to Eskimo rolling..." (So all of these rescues are indeed inferior to the Eskimo roll, that is so unreliable that it cannot be trusted by the World Champions in Greenland, and requires other "back up" rescues that in turn are stated to be not as "safe" as the Eskimo roll!)

"Every serious kayaker should learn the Eskimo Roll. It is by far the quickest, most reliable method of rescue (Obviously this statement is untrue, as contradicted above, by the need for back-up rescues, that in turn are not reliable.).... Its only disadvantage is that some find it difficult to learn.... Until you find the blade’s glide angle all attempts to complete a roll will fail and you may pick up several habits that might need to be laboriously broken before you will be able to succeed... Once you master the Eskimo roll make sure you can do it with the equipment you will actually be using. (Why do the Greenland Champs require a rescue boat? Who can trust an Eskimo roll with their life, if the World Champs are failure-prone.) When you get a new boat, paddle, PFD, drysuit or anything else that might affect your roll you should practice rolling with it. It's not enough to be a pool roller, you must also be capable of rolling the kayak as you would be paddling it. That is with a gear load, bag on the back deck, your life jacket on, etc. You need to be successful in whatever conditions (cold water, waves, turbulence, etc.) you may find yourself. " (This recommendation for the Eskimo roll is so qualified and demanding of special considerations, that it cannot be trusted with human lives. It is a "show off" trick.) (

Obviously the the Eskimo roll is a profitable Bait and Switch technique in itself. There is no end of reasons for failure, for which the victim is blamed. It is always the victim's fault, while being denied the only recognized means world-wide to get human bodies out of the water: A Life Raft.

Mr.Broze, Mr. Lull and the ACA have been denying the public any form of  Sponsons for over a decade. One thousand, five hundred (1,500) dead canoe and kayak victims since 1993 in North America.

Murder: Adults, children, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, family friends, friends' friends. When we speak of murdered children, there are more grave, emotional, and motivational considerations. However, the murder of many hundreds of adults, through defrauding them of true canoe and kayak safety is also sickening.

One interesting aspect of US Canoe and Kayak Murders is that almost everyone either knows about someone dying in a canoe or kayak directly, or they are only a few people away from knowing someone who was murdered in a canoe or kayak. Therefore in a jury there will not only be the 1000 deaths and thousands of loved ones; some of the jury are not far removed from knowing people who died, first hand. Put them in a swimming pool with any of the "rescues", compared to the 2 little girls rescuing themselves plus any other swimmers in the water (half of the jury). The jury will find the "rescues" impossible, and the girls' sponsons easy, plus the ability to rescue many more in the water than just the paddlers.

The jury, and anyone else quickly asks: "Why would the canoe and kayak industry not try to sell using safety and "user friendly" ideas?" As I have said before, some instructors are bullies, and they want either money for instruction, or gratification of their ego as "superior" in some way, or both. And some are sadistic. This results in the highest death rate scandal in history. Far higher than any US vehicle scandals, like Firestone/Ford.

US canoe and kayak murders are unique in that the 1500 dead victims are so often blamed for their own deaths, although they have no means to escape death in the water. Even experts with years of experience would die without a powerboat to rescue them, like the World rolling champs in Greenland. Anyone who cannot get out of the water in time will die, wearing a PFD or not.

Let's keep it simple: Referring only to two popular kayaking books. Making canoes and kayaks as dangerous as possible, and blaming the victim too:

Kent Ford, Kayaking, 1995: "There are zillions of rescues that work,...Each rescue is designed to get you back into the safety of your boat so you can paddle away in a comfortable, stable manner...Self-rescues are much harder than assisted rescues. Getting water out of a capsized boat and getting back into the boat by yourself are tricky...Paddle Float...This works reliably in calm water without outside assistance, but paddlers debate its effectiveness in rough conditions. (pp.83-85)

Why would there be "zillions of rescues" if there was a simple way  of saving your life in a canoe or kayak? Apparently there are also "zillions of rescues" that don't work if you just read a little further, as in any "Bait And Switch" Fraud!

Jonathan Hanson, Complete Sea Kayak Touring, 1998: "Even if you are an accomplished Eskimo roller, any number of circumstances could prevent you from rolling up successfully in bad conditions, a paddlefloat could mean the difference in regaining the cockpit quickly" (p.36) "The biggest danger of the paddlefloat is the false sense of security it engenders among fools." (p.86)

Just in case you thought only one author advocates that the re-entry roll is the safest idea (despite the fact that the victim is in more danger, is colder, and is much less stable than before capsize):
"For paddlers with good rolling skills, this is the quickest way to recover from a wet exit. You can be back in the boat and rolled up within a minute." (Jonathan Hanson, Complete Sea Kayak Touring, 1998, p.85)

You will also have a boat full of water obviously! And no way to stabilize it while trying to pump it out. Pumping requires at least one hand, holding a paddle at least one hand, and the sprayskirt is generally at least a one hand operation. In Fact: It is impossible to pump out the flooded kayak through an opening between the sprayskirt and the cockpit rim. "...It has two fairly serious shortcomings: You can't seal the sprayskirt, and you can't keep both hands on the paddle while pumping." Sea Kayaker Magazine, February 2003, p.29

This is why the reentry roll is so deadly, even if anyone could easily do it. Just another trick with which to endanger human life to make money.)

Good note in the above book on the paddle float, but a lie about pumping out:

" The only danger to a rigid outrigger setup is the extra stress on the paddle... (i.e. Breakage) key to a successful paddle-float reentry is doing it quickly...then get in fast...Look for a lull in the waves to let go of the paddle and secure your sprayskirt...while pumping...(p. 88)

Almost all kayaks lack either a foot pump or an electric pump. Few sprayskirts fit well enough to be "not fiddly" or leaky. So the flooding of kayaks is a major safety concern. Another idea is to shove the pump down the top of the sprayskirt. But this seems to require unzipping the PFD, since the tops of sprayskirts normally extend some distance underneath the PFD.

Reference: Matt Broze, "Pumping Out after Paddle Float Rescue", Paddlewise, Wed, 20 Jun 2001 02:36:43 -0700: "...obviously there are going to be certain combinations of clothing and spraydecks that don't allow a pump down the front. Please try it and report back (if you don't knock yourself out and drown after hitting your chin)."

Mr. Broze and his associate George Gronseth continue to mislead American and Canadian victims to their deaths in Sea Kayaker Magazine, lying about pumping out kayaks in 2006!: "The most effective way of using a handheld bilge pump in rough seas is to lift the bottom of your PFD up and shove the pump down between the spray skirt and your belly. This way is slow and awkward, but you can pump with the spray skirt completely sealed. Practice it." (p.27, Sea Kayaker Magazine, June 2006.)

This obvious lie is one of the most egregious and deadly lies ever printed in an American magazine! See for yourself how the snugly-fitting PFD must be unfastened to even allow access to the top of a spray skirt, as Broze admits just above in June 2001, not 2006! Over 500 dead Americans, and over 125 dead Canadians in canoes and kayaks later.

Canoes and kayaks must be stable when fully flooded, allowing even 10 year old girls without expensive and fraudulent instruction to immediately rescue themselves and others with $25 CO2 airbag sponsons.

It is difficult to find more contempt anywhere for the value of human life: Obviously flooded kayaks quickly re-capsize to leave the victim to die a terror-filled and agonizing death in the water.

Mr. Broze has been "playing God" for many years: "A capsized paddler who Eskimo rolls is still in the same conditions that capsized him or her in the first place, and with each roll he or she will take on more water, lessening the kayak's stability." Matt Broze, Deep Trouble, p.91. But you will note his contradictory focus on "Eskimo Rolls" in this book and other publications.
His website (March 2000) pleads with those paddlers who tell him they can't roll their loaded kayaks, to do it! But reviewers in Sea Kayaker Magazine Feb. 2000 can't roll a kayak only slightly different from their own (which they can't roll loaded either.) A Personal Statement, p. 84, in "Deep Trouble", by Matt Broze admits: "In the effort to encourage the use of this rescue as a backup to rolling, perhaps we have unintentionally..." He is referring to David Kelley's death, using a paddlefloat designed by him. Paddlefloats are deceptively deadly. Enron-type marketing of safety in canoes and kayaking is deadly.

Tim Ingram 231 Gordon Drive, Penetanguishene, Ontario L9M 1Y2, phone 705-549-3722

Now you would think that the canoe and kayak industry, not having any reliable means to saves lives, (no means in sea kayaks above) and no open canoe rescues, would embrace the built-in CO2 sponsons. No. Apparently they want to continue to kill as many victims as possible, in the US and other countries. The means of killing is the Bait and Switch fraud technique used by Enron and other corporations. But at least these corporations do not deliberately kill (i.e. murder) so many innocent victims.

This practice of denying any reasonable means of saving human lives in canoes and kayaks is criminally negligent.


Chapter Four: The Degradation of Mr. Earle Kyle and Other Canoe and Kayak Victims

Note that Mr. Kyle has been blamed for "being too far from shore", albeit innocently. All canoe and kayak victims die too far from shore, which obviously prevents them from just stepping out of the water. Most capsizes occur more than 5 feet from shore, in water over one's head. This is why any reasonably prudent person would want airbag sponsons to get out of the water immediately; regardless of any conditions of shoreline, weather, sickness or bad luck. And paddle to safety.

The families of these victims are often left with no energy to pursue the wrongful deaths of their loved ones, especially when the media and even family members unintentionally cast shadows on the behaviors of the victims. For example, Mr. Kyle was a "poor swimmer" (and all young children are "poor" swimmers); although he was wearing a PFD and most paddlers are poor swimmers, like the general population: "he should not have been canoeing", "he should not have been canoeing outside of hot summer days", etc. In fact, the hottest days and nights of July and August would not have saved these victims. Deaths occur all year round in Florida in 70 degree Fahrenheit waters; since body heat loss in water is 25 times the heat loss rate in air. It does not take long for normal body temperature (about 98.6 F.) to drop a few degrees, sufficient to prevent effective use of hands and limbs in minutes. Soon irregular heartbeat, poor blood flow to the brain, and unconsciousness results: face falling into the water, causing drowning. The Girl Guides did not die of drowning since their heads were held out of the water: they were declared "brain dead" when they reached hospital, due to lack of blood to their brains.

The blaming of victims for their own misfortune is a common crime. Mr. Kyle fought against this injustice while he worked
against large, corrupt insurance companies, for many hundreds of victims. The US and Canadian canoe and kayak safety fraud results in approximately 90 US deaths annually, about 25 in Canada. See the USCG Office of Boating Safety website. The
USCG has had the US Special Forces 10th Airbourne Sponsons Study since 1994. The US military kayakers used sponsons
or improvised beam buoyancy to tranform a kayak into an effective rescue craft despite total flooding inside. Arctic peoples
used "balance bags" and less effective types of beam buoyancy for thousands of years (We must remember they could not hold buoyancy airbags against the hull without worry over rubbing through the thin sealskin sides of their lightweight craft, unlike modern canoes and kayaks.) Modern beam buoyancy sponsons, air bags or foam blocks, etc. transform any kind of canoe or kayak into a superior rescue vehicle; far superior in speed, maneuverability, weight, capacity, and even cost, to the primitive floating platforms used by police and fire departments to rescue victims from the water after falling through the ice, or other tricky whitewater and surf rescues that even helicopters cannot perform.

: Hello,
: First i would like to say yes he's definately a little crazy but some of the
: stuff he is saying should not be disregarded.I am a mother who lost her
: child to hypothermia May 31/2003 and you and everyone else who thinks that
: canoeing is safe is crazy your telling me that a life jacket and rope is
: enough bull my 11 year old died because they could not get back into the
: canoe after capsizing in Lake Huron how can you close the door on these
: safety sponsons when they really work. Why should they not be on every
: canoe that camps or organizations take our children out in as safety
: feature kids that have no idea how to get back in, or even the strength to
: do it.

Please do not contact this grieving mother. She is normally very articulate, but she was attempting to discuss canoe "safety" with some "experts" on a usenet internet group discussion. She was brave, but greatly outnumbered and overwhelmed by the responses that she "just did not know the real mystery behind the deaths of her 11 year old daughter Megan, and Megan's cousin Erica in the picture above, shortly before they died. The USCG rescue helicopter and "rescue swimmer" was far too late. People need to get out and save themselves immediately, without expensive instruction and practice that does not work, like any young girls (aged 7 and 10 in the above left-hand picture)

In 2005 for the first time the USCG has collected canoe and kayak death statistics separately. See for yourself at their Office of Boating Safety website: Click on "Statistics". There are almost twice as many canoe deaths as kayak deaths, a fact I have noticed as fairly consistent for many years. Unfortunately BARD statistics take about a year to compile, so we shall see canoe and kayak deaths for 2006 in about October 2007.

*Online Book Currently Under Construction*

Tim Ingram, phone 705-549-3722