So with all the good weather right Now we thought It would be good to Put out some Top tips for Kayak and canoe safety on the water whether it is on the sea, rivers or lakes!
These are just handy little things to help keep you safe while kayaking and give you some Piece of mind.
Universal golden Rules:
1: Never Kayak on your own (3 is an ideal guideline Number)
2: Always wear a PFD(personal flotation device) when kayaking
3: You should be able to swim/comfortable in the water
4: Always let some one know where you are going and when you Plan to be home
5:Prepare for the Environment (Sometimes it might be really sunny and warm but the water can still be quite cold)So dress accordingly. Sun hats, sun glasses and sun cream are important on really sunny days. Woolly hats, gloves and extra layers can be essential on cold days.
6:Plan your trip well be aware of any potential hazards.
Now in addition to the above here are some guidelnes specific to the River and Sea Environments
1: Wear a Helmet
2: Carry a throw rope and get appropriate Training to use it
3: Canoe or Kayak at your level flat water or white water
4: Get some training Before tackling something you are unsure of
5: Scout (Look at) Unknow sections of river before running them.
6: If the water looks Milky brown and is moving very very fast the river maybe in flood, caution should be taken as the condition/features of the river may have changed.
7: Dress accordingly: The weather maybe warm but the water can still be chilly, make sure you have the right equipment to keep you comfortable on the water. Wetsuits, Cags, Thermals are all still a good idea (Avoid cotton clothing)
8: Bring a mobile Phone in a dry bag
9: Carry a first aid kit
1: Check the weather (Wind direction/speed is very important) Off shore winds can be very dangerous for novice kayakers
2: Check the tides (Wind and tide combined can be a major hazard)
3: Know your Limits
4: Carry a tow line
5: Carry a Mobile phone &/or a VHF
6: Carry a first aid Kit
7: If planning to travel a long distance split Paddles would be advised
8: Emergency Flares
9: Local knowledge is important ask about Tides, swell, whats around the corner so you have a heads up on what to expect on your trip.
10:Dress accordingly: The weather maybe warm but the water can still be chilly, make sure you have the right equipment to keep you comfortable on the water. Wetsuits, Cags, Thermals are all still a good idea (Avoid cotton clothing). Carry extras if going on a long trip
Over all the waterways are a great resource as long as some precautions are taken what is mentioned above are guidelines and ideas on what should be carried and how to plan a trip. Alot can be said for gut instincts and how you feel on any particular day! The best safety is through Knowledge and Action Being Proactive to avoid situations happening rather then reactive when something goes wrong.
For parents out there kayaking and canoeing are great fun sports to be enjoyed if you are at the beach this summer with the kids just keep an eye on them and Make sure they do not venture out too far especially in areas of strong tidal flows or with Offshore winds.
Over all we hope everyone enjoys the summer and has a great time on the water.