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To All Loons Paddlers: we have received criticism for promoting paddle outings where some persons choosing not to wear or carry life jackets (PFD’s) create a potentially “liable” situation for our group and associated organization and individuals. The laws of Virginia and North Carolina state that all vessels capable of transporting persons on the water (including canoes and kayaks) must have on-board one USCG approved life jacket sized for each wearer and that they must be readily accessible and ready for use. They do not require that you wear it in all situations but they do require that all children under the age of 13 wear one at all times.

The Loons group is not affiliated with any organization although the Roanoke River Basin Association Upper Reach Program has promoted Loons outings and events in the past. The Loons exists as a volunteer group of paddling enthusiasts whose common interest make us want to paddle together without the burden of liability waivers, insurance and legal oversight that comes with sanctioned events and outings.

The Loons has purposefully opted to suggest and encourage rather than mandate any particular behaviors such as wearing life vests. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) we believe that all paddlers should take personal responsibility for being familiar with and complying with the laws of the state, and 2) adults should be free to make the personal decision whether or not to wear their PFD, and they are always responsible for their children.

If conditions are such that a paddler can “self-rescue” (i.e. swim, walk or drag) themselves to safety in the event of capsize, it is not our responsibility to assume the role of PFD police. They should not expect others to come to their rescue, possibly endangering their lives too.

Personally, I wear my life jacket. I have found that a good quality jacket can be both comfortable, convenient (with many pockets) and are often quite stylish. I have also found that going for a swim and banging my head on a rock can happen with little notice, ruining not only my day but everyone else’s too.

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We are sorry for the short notice.  We have spoken to several local Meherrin River residents.  They are telling us that we need to wait till late April for the water levels to be navigable in the river for the north fork.  We will reschedule then.  

This Saturday WE WILL STILL PADDLE.  We are going to meet at Saffold Rd. (Rte. 635) to Whittle's Mill (Rte 636/ Bridge Rd).  Meeting at 10:30 am to drop off boats and shuttle to Whittle's Mill and launch around 11:00 am.  

Dress warm, Layers are the best and stay away from cotton.  Bring your sunscreen.

See you there!
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Posted by on in UR Loons Paddlers

Ok so this one day of warm weather has got me pumped to paddle and enjoy the water.  Hope you all are ready as well.  Scott and I have added some of the events to our calender of events and we have added some to our facebook page.  I have also emailed everyone the schedule for 2013 it is also pasted below.  If you are not on our email list please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can stay in contact about our events. 

We have some great events planned as well as some amazing things happening throughout the region for our blueway trails.  If you have not checked out our Trails Wiki, you need to.  Scott and several others have worked really hard to get a good start on this project.  We hope you can help us build our trails wiki and our blog.  Please tell us some of your favorite places to paddle.

We enjoy hearing from you.  Have a great day.


Get Out Now!

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Life Jackets/PFD's:

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