Safety While Kayaking

Our club welcomes paddlers of all levels of skill and experience. For those new to paddling we give basic instructions to make initial paddles enjoyable. The following information about safety will ensure paddle events are also safe and comfortable.

Paddler’s Responsibilities

  • Read safety information 
  • Must wear a personal flotation device at all times on the water (Level 50/50S)
  • Must be capable and comfortable in the water in case of a capsize
  • Must wear appropriate clothing to suit daily conditions
    • Warm and waterproof clothing when rain or cold conditions are expected
    • Hat and long sleeved garments for sunny conditions
    • Closed footwear
  • Bring water and sunscreen
  • Must always paddle with the group between leader and Tail-end Charley
  • Try and keep a lookout for fellow paddlers
  • Stay with your craft if you capsize
  • Alert the leader if you wish to return to shore for any reason
  • Learn signals – stop, come to me, OK and distress
  • When paddling alone advise someone of your plans and keep close to the shore in coastal waters

Leader’s Responsibilities

  • Ensure conditions are safe to proceed with the paddle or abort paddle if necessary
  • Control pace of group and rest group if necessary
  • Be alert for physical or psychological condition of the group
  • Wherever possible appoint a Tail-end Charley to ensure slower paddlers are not isolated
  • Ensure (to the best of leaders ability) that paddlers do not get into situations beyond their capabilities
  • Have mobile phone, rescue rope and bailer on rope
  • Outline course planned to the group at start of paddle
  • Ensure wherever possible that the group paddles together between leader and Tail-end Charley

Club Responsibilities

  • Ensure provided equipment is in good and workable condition
  • Ensure prospective paddlers acquaint themselves with the safety information on our website or a provided handout
  • No paddle is to proceed if there is likelihood of severe conditions – high winds, lightning, unsafe or uncomfortable water conditions
  • Ensure visitors have read and signed indemnity declaration
  • Ensure person on shore has mobile phone for contact with leader
  • On shore person to record all paddlers
  • Provide sunscreen and water