Paddlers on small watercraft are twice as likely to have a fatal accident than those on large vessels due to the lack of safety measures put in place. Drowning is the most common cause of death and is a direct result of paddlers not wearing or carrying with them appropriate life-saving devices such as life-jackets.
Paddlers on small watercraft often are more complacent when it comes to venturing out on the water and do not take as many safety measures as those operating boats or powered watercraft.
So how to minimise the risk of death when using a kayak?
As a paddler you should always be practice safety first when on any waterway whether it be a river, lake or open ocean. For safety you should consider the following to avoid injury or death.
- Always wear a lifejacket or have adequate floatation devices in close proximity. Many states require by the law the use of a life-jacket.
- Never paddle alone. It is best to paddle with a friend or small group in case of any problems.
- Practise using your watercraft in shallow water under supervision first to build up skills
- Ensure your watercraft is well suited to your size and don’t overload the watercraft as this can make it unstable and result in capsizing.
- Check the weather conditions before any trip on the water. Make sure you are well prepared for a change in weather event.
- Dress appropriately.
- Check your equipment and watercraft before and after every trip to ensure there is no damage or faulty components
- Never operate the watercraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
With these tips in mind we hope your next trip out on the water is a safe and enjoyable one.