Paddling canoes and kayaks is a great way to experience the water and is often a ton of fun. However, it is an inherently dangerous activity due to its relationship with water. Before you embark on your adventure, it is important to note that there are several rules you must follow in order to ensure the safety of yourself and others. 

By using the watercraft, you are accepting responsibility for any and all of your actions concerning its use. 

  1. Never stand or lean to the side of a watercraft. This can result in tipping, which not only results in getting wet and possible hypothermia, but can easily lead to drowning if someone is knocked unconscious or unable to detach themselves from the watercraft during the flip.
  2. Never overload the watercraft. Each watercraft is designed for a specific number of passengers and total weight, which will be explained to you upon being given permission to use it. To exceed this weight will compromise the watercraft’s flotation and the amount of control the passengers have.
  3. Never use the watercraft for anything other than its intended use. These watercraft are designed for specific uses and to go beyond these can compromise your safety and/or damage the watercraft.
  4. A life preserver (PFD) must be worn by all individuals using the watercraft regardless of age or previous watercraft use. CANOE has life preservers for use and will always be distributed along with the watercraft.
  5. Never operate one of CANOE’s watercraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  6. Watercraft use is prohibited after daytime hours and in dangerous conditions such as freezing water, flooding conditions, etc. Talk to one of the gear managers if you have concerns about the safety of the current conditions.
  7. College policy requires that waivers, emergency contact forms, and an itinerary (including where you’re going and when you expect to be back,) as well as a cell phone number where you can be reached if you are gone longer than expected) be filed with Student Activities before you leave.
  8. Never canoe alone.
  9. We never loan out canoes or kayaks for use in non-CANOE sponsored trips.

These watercraft are used frequently throughout the year and should be in working condition. However, prior to using a watercraft, we ask that you insist on an evaluation of its condition, likely done by one of the Gear Managers. It is ultimately the responsibility of those using the watercraft to ensure its working condition.

An evaluation of the watercraft’s condition will take place upon its return.