Kayak Safety

Kayaking is enjoyable, but with its exciting nature comes several potential hazards. It is vital that all kayakers know how to stay safe while out on the water. Every year the RNLI is called out to rescue people in these vessels.

Over the decades, there have been numerous tragic stories about kayak accidents. Readers can check out the BBC website to learn about specific cases. Many of them were caused by capsizing. The weather and tides can change dramatically in very little time. Consequently, people have to know the conditions before they launch their craft.

There are some types of kayaking that are more dangerous than others. A good example is white water rafting, which should only be undertaken by those with a high skill level. River difficulty is usually expressed on a scale from 1 to 6. 1 is used for areas that only have a small number of rough patches. Meanwhile, 6 denotes a genuine risk of death or injury. Therefore, it is essential that kayakers know the difficulty level of the body of water they want to travel through.

It might seem obvious but everyone operating a kayak has to wear a life jacket. If the vessel suddenly capsizes, a flotation device will increase the chances of the person’s survival. Those not wearing one will need to manually stay afloat until help arrives. Doing so will waste valuable energy, and the possibility of drowning can become more real.

Each kayaker brings a kit with them. It can contain a plethora of valuable items. Compasses are essential for navigation. There should be an appropriate amount of water available so that dehydration is prevented. The RNLI recommends that kayakers also bring a phone with them. Doing so will allow them to call the emergency services if they get into trouble. It is wise to keep the device in a waterproof pouch so that it does not get damaged.

While there are many ways to increase safety, the most important thing is to be well trained. Novices can take courses on how to properly utilise a kayak. Education allows them to better identify any potential hazards while out on the water. Kayakers should only launch into bodies of water that are appropriate for their skill level.

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