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Paddle boarding has been exploding as a sport over the past several years. It’s a great workout, and can be a tremendous amount of fun. But it can also be dangerous. Most of the paddleboard injuries and lawsuits have arisen from drownings. The typical situation has been where a paddle boarder is not wearing a PFD (personal flotation device), and ultimately gets separated from the board and drowns. In other situations, the paddle boarder is not using a leash to tether himself to the board.
The Potomac River, which meanders through Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. is the home to many paddle boarders. Paddle boarders on the Potomac River are required to use paddle board safety equipment, such as a PFD. When they paddle board on the Potomac River, helmets are necessary, although they are not necessary when paddling on the canal. Most paddle board instruction and lesson groups will take steps to educate their students on the dangers of paddle boarding. On the Potomac River, there will generally be a lesson on land, before the students head out into the water. Once in the water for their first lesson, the paddle boarders will usually practice getting on and off their boards after a fall. Taking a paddle board lesson on the Potomac River is a great idea if you want to learn the safety basics. Check out http://socalsurfsup.com for more information.
The beaches near the Washington Metropolitan area are also home to paddle boarders. For example, Assateague, Dewey, and Rehoboth are all favorite paddleboarding spots. Generally, those who paddle board in the ocean rarely wear life jackets. That said, the instructional groups who give paddleboard lessons in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach will generally require their students to wear life jackets in the Rehoboth Bay. Regardless of where you paddle board, it is a good idea to wear a life jacket – just in case.
If an injury occurs while paddle boarding, you may have legal rights. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand those rights, and the best course of action. Feel free to contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for a free consultation.