Thanks, Carl. That's really nice of you to say. We also both know that no one accomplishes anything working in isolation by themselves; that's always been true in spades in my case. Had the article fallen on deaf ears, had we not conducted the cold water safety workshops, had you as Editor of Anorak and Chuck Sutherland as Chuck "The Hammer" Sutherland, and a lot of other folks not taken up the cry, I don't think we would have accomplished much.
Still, it's no time for complacency. The fact remains that there's a whole lot that remains to be done. Clueless beginners with absolutely no idea about the lethal nature of cold water are putting paddles into the water all the time. I've been reading their obits all year long.
I'm also concerned about the large and growing number of folks that we simply don't reach when we cast our sea kayaking net. For example, the whole angling community appears to be out of range for the most part, a lot of whitewater paddlers appear to have missed the sermon, and there are a bunch of folks out there who just buy a boat, take it home, and go paddling without giving it a second thought. People buy used boats, borrow some friend's boat, or whatever. It's a long list.
I've felt for a long time that we need a national campaign on cold water safety, which is precisely why I'm in the process of establishing a National Center for Cold Water Safety. We need to harness the energy of a whole lot more than our own sea kayaking community to get the word out. I was pretty good at getting national media attention for the heat and cold stress issues back in the day, and I'm optimistic that I can do it again. As previously noted, however, not all by myself. Stay tuned...