PPA and VAPPA help defeat Virginia canoe regulation

The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) recently defeated a proposed regulation that would have required all watercraft under 16 feet to carry -- in addition to one PFD per occupant -- a throwable Type-IV floatation device.
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The Professional Paddlesports Association (PPA) and the Virginia Professional Paddlesports Association (VAPPA), along with the American Canoe Association (ACA) and private paddlers recently defeated a proposed regulation that would have required all watercraft under 16 feet to carry -- in addition to one PFD per occupant -- a throwable Type-IV floatation device.



Choosing not to seek an exemption strictly for the commercial paddlesports industry, the organizations tailored their objections to illustrate a lack of supporting data and the potential dangers resulting from such a regulation. A statement presented at the Oct. 24 meeting defined the groups' objections. The ACA and several private paddlers submitted written comments to VDGIF.



It was the position of the PPA and VAPPA along with their partners at the ACA that a requirement for throwable Type-IV PFDs in canoes could create potentially dangerous situations on the water by creating a disincentive to wear a PFD (life vest), discouraging capsized canoeists from swimming to shore in moving water, and creating entanglement hazards.



Following the presentation, the VDGIF board voted unanimously to exempt all canoes from the regulation requiring throwable Type-IV flotation devices.


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