Here’s one reason – the text of a message left on the voicemail of my personal phone –

“Jerry McAward!  Mark Aprile… it’s Saturday night, I’m in Ohiopyle, and I was calling to tell you, and tell Mike Mather, and you… THANK YOU, you saved me today (relieved laughter).  Got stuck in a vertical pin, and I had water flowing over me and, uh… I had flashbacks to Mr. Mather.  Kept my head, got out of it alright, and, uh, all is well.  Thought of you… wanted to call and say hey.  Hope you’re doing well, buddy… take care.” Click here to hear the message!

Mark Aprile is one of my favorite people on the face of this Earth, and one of our early kayak instructors.  He is an accomplished creek boater and playboater.  He is one of the most unflappable people I’ve met.

Participation in scenario training gave Mark the skills he needed to get himself out of trouble.   He was part of a Mike Mather Swiftwater Rescue Class several years ago.

How well are you prepared for a similar incident, one that might happen to you, or happen to one of your paddling buddies?

There is still room next weekend in Mike Mather’s Swiftwater Rescue Class – July 23-24.  Make the time to get better prepared for paddling.