Paddle Safe

Twin Ports

Safety Information

graphic of figure in water holding paddle next to boat with life jacket onboard

Life jackets are required for every person. Children must wear a life jacket.

graphic of figure in kayak next to large ship

Keep 100 yards from freighters and harbor docks

graphic of storm cloud and lightening touching water

Wind, waves, and weather can change rapidly

graphic of figure in sumberged under water next to paddle board

You will be unconscious within an hour in 50°F water

Vessel & Ability

Appropriate vessel labeled with your contact information

Use the proper watercraft for the conditions. Some watercraft may not be appropriate for use on Lake Superior.


  • Never paddle under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  • Paddle within your skill level and know the limits of your watercraft.
  • Before venturing out, learn how to re-enter your boat after capsizing and how to safely assist others.
  • Know how to swim and always wear your life jacket (personal floatation device).
  • Take a safety course or other course to improve your skills.



Plan & Route

Stay close to shore and avoid all active shipping lanes. As you paddle away from shore, make sure you have the ability to paddle back. Know your nearest take-out point in case of emergency. Do not hesitate to use your emergency take out location.

Rules of the road:
Stay 100 yards back from all cruise and commercial shipping vessels and harbor docks. Obey all navigational markers and buoys.

Check the weather forecast frequently. Wind, waves, and weather can change rapidly, especially on Lake Superior and in the harbor.  Pay attention to changing conditions and if they get worse, get off the water right away.

Float plan


Personal flotation device (PFD):
Wear it! Make sure it is appropriately sized and snug.

Cold water gear:

  • Always dress for immersion in cold water. Dress in layers and choose clothing made of synthetic fabrics. Avoid clothing that retains water when wet such as cotton t-shirts and jeans. Hypothermia is a risk at any time of the year.
  • Dry suits or wet suits recommended at all times on Lake Superior.

Bright clothing and reflectors:
Wear bright, noticeable clothing, and use reflective tape or stickers on your paddle blades.

Radio and cell phone:

  • Bring powered.
  • Stow in waterproof bag or container.
  • Keep handy for emergency communication.



  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Footwear
  • Compass
  • Sunscreen
  • Water and snacks
  • First-aid kit
  • Small repair kit
  • Dry bag or waterproof container
  • Throw bag or tow rope
  • Light or headlamp (in case you end up paddling early or late in the day)
  • Paddle float
  • Bilge pump