NCSP History & Mission

In the early 1970‘s, canoeing and kayaking as a recreational sport began to flourish and unfortunately, so did accidents and sometimes tragedies. Local tri-state paddling clubs, long aware of the need for improved training and safety, became increasingly concerned.  In the spring of 1979, the National Canoe Safety Patrol was formed and had the first trained patrols ready to assist paddlers on the Upper Delaware River.  The National Park Service assumed jurisdiction over the Upper Delaware in 1980, though the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  At the time, the NCSP was asked to work in conjunction with the Park Service as Volunteers In Parks, and to coordinate our efforts with theirs.  Our mission is to provide rescue and assistance, as well as safety education to guest in the park.  It is form these forms of involvement that the NCSP has received formal recognition from the National Park Services for our efforts.

Close cooperation among the National Park Service, boat liveries and the NCSP has reduced drownings from nine or more a year to an average of one per year.  By 1987, the NCSP had expanded its operations to include safety boating for several local events and was invited to serve as the Slalom Safety Team at the Savage River races culminating in the 1989 Canoe and Kayak World Championships.  We continue our association with the US team through the Olympic trials in 1992 and the World Cup races on the Ocoee in 1994.  In 2004 the National Canoe Safety Patrol incorporated as a non profit to assist in our continued growth and development.

Our program is simple and effective.  During the last weekend of April, we invite all members to upgrade their shore, boat, and in-water swift water rescue skills at our training weekend.  During the cold water months of May and June each member serves two weekends on active patrols.  Patrols continue on weekend and holidays until and including the labor day weekend.  The National Park Service provides limited cabin space available May and June and a campsite July and August for patrolling members at no cost to members or NCSP.  A fall NCSP/NPS dinner includes incentive drawings for members who have met the requirements of members in good standing.

Our training committee puts together a first rate program for all members, join us in providing valuable services to the paddling community and have a great time doing it.