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Massachusetts Kayak Safety Bill

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Fitz, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I sent my thoughts to the Governor on the link provided by Fitz and I hope others will join in. I will attempt to follow up with a 'phone call on Monday.
  2. paul s

    paul s Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    i have done same. just what we need, i still have not seen neither a police officer or a epo officer enforce our already in place law, that states we must wear a type 3 pfd during cold weather months. the idiots with no common scence are still going to drown.
  3. Tom Heys

    Tom Heys Paddler/Downwind Sailer

    Make the call!

    I encourage everyone to make the call to the Governor's office, especially if you're a resident of the commonwealth. The phone number is 617-725-4005, or toll-free from within Massachusetts 888-870-7770. A real person will likely answer the phone. Tell that person that your call relates to House Docket number 339. I think the bill is number 2281. The fellow I have just spoken with was receptive and assured me he would bring the matter of my phone call and e-mail to the Governor's attention. There can't be too many phone calls at this point. The whole thing took me just a couple of minutes.

  4. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I too made the call this morning and I spoke with a woman who seemed interested in what I had to say; she took notes and promised to bring it to the attention of the powers to be.

    It's going to be near 90 degrees this afternoon and I may be out on the Parker River here in northeast Mass - the river is 30 feet wide and 3 feet deep and I don't think I will need to wear the PFD that I will be using as kneeling pad. If the wind kicks up or I come upon some unexpected fast water I'll put it on, but, it should be my decision.

    Let's swamp them with calls - it is all we can do and if we don't we will have ourselves to blame.
  5. paul s

    paul s Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    amazing! a real person actually answers the phone. everyone please make the call to oppose this bill.
  6. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Call Flood

    Apparently, the State House is getting quite the number of calls about this bill.

    The canoe racing community is particularly up in arms about the need to wear a pfd while marathon racing in the summer heat.

    They have approached the legislator who advanced the bill SOME 5 YEARS AGO OR MORE!! about a racing exemption....

    Give me a break and keep the calls coming.

    But then again, we can't be too safe now can we??,95/

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  7. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    We have been getting some emails regarding this legislation.

    This is my personal stance on the issue:

    I have been watching this legislation for more than five years. It is the result of two girls that got lost in the fog on Cape Cod in kayaks, and an accident during kayak training. The initial bill included several requirements that were already required by law (that the girls either were not aware of or ignored). PFDs would not have saved these girls anyway in the ocean in November, and the kayak instruction victim suffered a heart attack.

    For most of the 5 years, canoes have not been mentioned, but due to the difficulty in defining the shape of watercraft, canoes recently, and with no public forum (to my knowledge), were added to the bill.

    Massachusetts has a Cold Water PFD law on the books now that make a lot of sense. You must wear a PFD from 15 September to 15 May. Every paddler I know has absolutely no issue with this.

    The bill presented to the Governor now does nothing to improve upon the existing laws. It is just totally unnecessary legislation. Marathon canoe racers fear that it is in fact dangerous during the summer months.

    We also had a number of drownings this spring in the flood waters. Some wearing PFDs, some not. The bigger issue on the water is poor judgment and IMPAIRED judgment.

    Someone else said it better than me. "Will they come for my bath mat next"?

  8. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Good News

    I have heard through the interwebs this afternoon that the paddling bill died on the floor, so wearing life jackets will NOT be required in the summer months! Thanks to all who contacted their representatives and the Governor.

    Good to see that voices are heard.
  9. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Mass PFD requirement

    This is the best news I have heard all day! No legislation is better than bad legislation and this bill was so poorly written that is is best forgotten.

    Thanks Fitz for all of your work spreading the word on what our state governments are up to, and, thanks to everyone who chimed in on this one.
  10. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood


    Apparently, what I reported isn't quite right. I apologize. I was afraid of the grapevine...anyway, this is what I hear now.."Didn't quite die on floor, it was sent to house with mandatory language taken out of it. It is voluntary. Senate needs to either approve as is or change and send back to house. However with such a short time left in session if it were to get sent back it would mostly not get acted on this session."

    So, take a bill that is redundant, makes no sense, make it even make less sense and spend more money while it floats around Beacon Hill....
  11. OP

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Latest Nonsense 7/30

    A bill aimed at promoting kayak safety that seemed sure to pass is now in doubt, after the House tacked on an 11th-hour amendment last week that left the Senate’s lead sponsor scratching his head. The House amendment was unusual because it came after the branches had reached a compromise, agreeing to a bill that would require kayakers to wear "Coast Guard approved" life vests at all times, and to require kayak instructors to receive First Aid and CPR training. The last-minute House amendment, which struck the requirement that all kayak passengers wear a life jacket “at all times,” was added by Rep. William Straus (D-Mattapoisett), who had led negotiations with the Senate. The amendment instead requires that kayakers carry at least one life jacket on board, although it doesn’t specify that it must be worn. Sen. Robert O’Leary, the Senate’s lead negotiator, told the News Service Wednesday he was unclear about the bill’s fate and pointed the finger at the House for creating uncertainty. Straus was not immediately available for comment. O’Leary originally filed his bill in 2001 but has seen it fail for four straight sessions. The compromise proposal (S 2518) was filed after a 56-day negotiation between O’Leary, Straus and four other lawmakers. It would require kayak instructors to provide “wet exit training” for capsized kayaks, and the bill nullifies any existing waiver from providing that training. “The reason I filed my initial legislation was in response to several drownings by people in kayaks who were not wearing a lifejacket,” O'Leary said in a statement after the compromise was reached. “We require ready access to lifejackets in other recreational vehicles, so it seemed logical to include smaller craft as well. We are talking about small unstable boats that many people take out into the ocean where conditions can change instantly, and having a lifejacket makes sense.” The bill seemed assured of passage when lawmakers came out with a compromise version and the Senate accepted it on July 6. The bill was initially passed 29-4 in the Senate in October 2009, and the House followed suit in January. The proposals were sent to a conference committee on May 4 and emerged in late June.



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