Take 2 the Water Safety Tips

Tips to help you safely spend your time on the water

If you have a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or other small craft you must realize that even though you might not be heading far out on the ocean, you still need to follow basic rules for the safety of yourself and any passengers.  Here are just a few tips:

  • If you can, always go with your partner or friend. It’s more fun with friends and they can help you if you get into difficulty which can be quite scary on your own
  • If going out alone, you must tell someone where you’re going and estimated return time. Don’t leave without a cell phone or communication device.
  • Taking  your phone to take some photos? Make sure you store it in a waterproof pouch to avoid it getting wet – especially important in an emergency.
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times. The water might seem calm but conditions can change quickly.
  • Avoid offshore winds.  If you are canoeing and particularly if you are paddle boarding winds can blow you far out to sea – this can make it extremely tiring and difficult to paddle back to shore.
  • You should always wear a suitable personal flotation device. This can be a buoyancy aid or if on the sea a lifejacket. Choose one that still allows you plenty of movement so you can paddle freely. Not only will it keep you afloat if you capsize or fall off you paddle board, but it will also help give you time to recover should you fall in.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. It might seem nice and warm when on land but on open water it can often feel a lot cooler. Remember too that temperatures in the water will be several degrees cooler so if paddle boarding and you are likely to take a dip consider a wet suit.
  • If paddle boarding always use a leash. It’s very annoying to have to swim after your paddle board if you fall off. The leash will also help you stay connected to your board especially if you get into trouble and help you float.
  • If you are launching you craft on a life guarded beach, make sure you launch and recover within the designated area. There are likely to be less swimmers in this area, giving you more room to maneover.
  • Get the appropriate level of training. Having a few training sessions can teach you the right technique.  Many dispense with lessons but you might learn just one small thing that  could save your life or that of another person
  • Ensure you have enough fuel.  If going out in your runabout make sure you have enough fuel and preferably more than you need in case you have to change your plans
  • Don’t forget your oars. You might not plan to row but if you have engine failure or run out of fuel you might need your oars.
  • Act Responsibly avoiding alcohol and drugs – the water is a dangerous place made much worse when under the influence.

Have Fun on Water in Safety!