The Florida State Park of Lovers Key is not only a beautiful place to visit, but it’s fully accessible by canoe. Are you a first-timer, looking for canoe safety tips for your trip?
It’s great to get around Lovers Key by canoe rather than boat, as you won’t disturb or scare away the wildlife around you.
But it’s important you know what to do to stay safe. Here are 5 key canoe safety tips.
1. Say Where You’re Going
If you’re renting a canoe, the hire firm will be able to give you directions and advice.
Make sure they know where you’re going if it’s a long trip, as they’ll know whether to be concerned if you’re a bit late. And they might be able to send someone to help you if you’ve gotten lost.
If you own a canoe, always tell a friend or relative you’re going out on the water, and where you’re going. Just in case.
2. Wear a Life Vest
Always wear a life vest.
All other aspects of canoe safety are nothing without this! It will keep you safe if you unexpectedly fall in the water, by helping you to float until you’re saved.
You shouldn’t take it off unless you’ve reached the shore.
2. Don’t Stand Up – Ever!
Save standing for stand-up paddleboarding!
Unless you’re getting in or out of your canoe, never stand up. It’s almost certain you’ll topple over, and you could hurt yourself.
Sit in the seats or the center of the canoe to keep it balanced. If there’s more than one person in the canoe, remember that your movements could throw someone else off balance.
Avoid jerky motions and give your partner warning of any unavoidable ‘odd’ movements if possible.
4. Are You Being Carried Away?
Keep an eye on your position.
If it seems that, despite not paddling, you’re getting carried away, you may be caught in a current. These aren’t always obvious on the surface of the water.
If you’re being pulled away from shore while at sea, you may be in a ‘rip’ current. These can be very strong, and hard to paddle against.
Try angling the canoe at 45 degrees towards the shore instead and head in that direction. This will take you out of the current. Or if it’s very strong, paddle across the beach for 20 yards or so and then turn in, to escape the current.
5. Don’t Drink Alcohol
The promise of a cold beer at the end of a long paddling session sounds brilliant. But you should wait until you’ve returned the canoe back to town, and then go hit a bar.
Drinking and paddling aren’t a good combination. You need good judgment on the water, and that lovely cold beer will not help you here!
Where to Hire a Canoe in Fort Myers
Lovers Key Adventures & Events have over 50 kayaks ready and waiting for you.
We can provide advice on where to go, how to get there, and more safety tips if you need them. We provide life vests for every canoe we send out, and our fleet has been approved by the Florida coast guard.
Come and find us at 8700 Estero Blvd and get to know us. Or contact us online or by phone – 239-765-7788.
Lovers Key Adventures
8700 Estero Blvd,
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931