Editor’s Note: Boating collaborates with the Water Sports Foundation, and Content Director, Jeff Moag, in particular, in creating a range of boating safety content. We are proud of Mr. Moag’s achievements and pleased to work alongside him and the team at WSF.
The world’s largest paid-circulation magazine, Reader’s Digest, recently published a paddling safety story written as part of the Water Sports Foundation program Lessons for Life: Accidents as Learning Experiences. The WSF content director Jeff Moag wrote the article, “Nightmare on Lake Superior,” which was first published in Men’s Journal and Paddling magazine.
Lessons for Life uses stories and videos about true-life incidents to promote boating and paddling
safety. The story Reader’s Digest published was about three friends whose paddling adventure
on Lake Superior turned into a life-threatening ordeal when a sudden storm caught them off-
guard. All three men capsized and became separated in the squall. Moag’s story describes each
paddler’s harrowing experience, describing both how they got into the potentially deadly
situation, and how they managed to survive.
Reader’s Digest Global Rights Manager Thomas Dombrowolski said, “Each month, Reader’s
Digest publishes a ‘Drama in Real Life’ column. It is one of our longest running features and a
reader favorite. We typically commission these features ourselves, but when we came across the
Lake Superior story, we thought it was perfect the way it is.” The story was republished in the
June 2022 Reader’s Digest, reaching more than 40 million subscribers in 70 countries.
“It’s an honor to have my work picked up by the world’s largest subscription magazine,
especially since it validates the premise of our Lessons for Life program,” Moag said. “At the
WSF we believe that good storytelling is the best and most memorable way to share life-saving
Since 2017, the WSF has published 22 Lessons for Life narratives and 15 videos, in cooperation
with 13 major enthusiast titles such as Boating, Men’s Journal, Cruising World, Salt Water
Sportsman, Paddling, Kayak Angler, BassFan, In-Fisherman, Florida Sportsman and
Paddling.com. The goal is to engage readers in the story and use the narrative to show the
audience how to stay safe and incident-free in their own boating and paddling adventures.
Other WSF Lessons for Life stories have also gone viral, including “Heroic Rescue at Destin
Pass,” about a family whose boat capsized in strong currents. The 4-minute video has been
viewed more than 2.5 million times on various platforms. All of the Lessons for Life stories and
videos are archived on the WSF website, WaterSportsFoundation.com.