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Letter: Be safe, wear a life vest in a canoe

Buckley Miller paddles a canoe past a flooded

Buckley Miller paddles a canoe past a flooded water treatment plant in downtown Lumberton after Hurricane Matthew caused downed trees, power outages and massive flooding along the Lumber River Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 in Lumberton, NC. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP) Credit: AP

I enjoyed your article about a local winemaker who also makes beautiful wood canoes [“Winemaker crafts his own canoes, too,” LI Life, Feb. 12]. He is truly a talented and unique individual.

I did cringe, however, when I saw a photo of him in his canoe out for a winter paddle without an apparent life vest and not dressed for cold water immersion.

In the winter, our water temperatures are in the low 40s, and survival time is very short if you fall in not wearing a proper dry suit or wet suit.

In addition, the New York life vest jacket law requires users of boats shorter than 21 feet, canoes, kayaks and rowboats to wear a life vest between Nov. 1 and May 1. I think Newsday could have been more responsible by not publishing a picture of a winter paddler not wearing the required equipment.

Tony Fleck, Farmingdale