The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has initiated a paddlecraft safety program called Auxiliary Paddlecraft, or AUXPAD.
The program has three major points:
- the need to have and wear a proper life jacket,
- the need to be prepared and have proper safety equipment,
- and the need for general awareness about all aspects of paddling safety, including situational awareness and the need to practice skills.
AUXPAD will include traditional dockside Auxiliary boating safety activities such as public education, public affairs, literature drops, and vessel safety exams. One new element is that the Auxiliary will go on-the-water in kayaks to deliver safety messages to novice and occasional paddlers. Participants in this on-the-water program are required to have passed the ACA L-1 and L-2 coastal kayaking skill assessments. Auxiliarists designated as AUXPAD Qualifiers, that is, supervisors, will be required to hold current ACA L-1 and L-2 kayak Instructor certifications.
ACA Instructors and Trainers may be contacted directly by Auxiliarists or by the active duty Coast Guard to arrange training opportunities.