Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Out on the Water? Be Prepared

These two kayaks were recovered by Swanage's inshore lifeboat (ILB) yesterday and towed back to Swanage after their owners got into difficulty in choppy seas off Studland. 

What had seemed calm waters in the confines of the bay were suddenly very different in the shallower waters close to Old Harry and before long the kayakers were struggling in the conditions.  They had no VHF radio and no mobile phone (phones aren't ideal at sea because of limited reception, but one in a sealed bag is better than nothing) and they were fortunate that someone on the cliff had seen their calls for help.  The pair were dressed in inadequate clothing and once wet, soon got cold with the keen wind.  Finally, they wore no lifejackets or buoyancy aids.

On arrival at Swanage, the couple were taken into the care of the Coastguard team where they were warmed up and offered some safety advice, before being returned to their vehicle to dry off and reflect how differently their afternoon could have ended up.

The RNLI has produced a handy safety guide for kayakers - we suggest you download and read it if you own a kayak or have the use of one. Get your copy here: RNLI Kayak Safety Guide.

And always consider the following
  •             CARRY a communication device in an easily accessible waterproof pocket/pouch
  •             WEAR proper kit to keep you warm and afloat in the water
  •             CARRY spare clothing, food and drink in a dry bag
  •             CHECK the weather and water conditions before heading out
  •             WEAR a buoyancy aid or lifejacket
  •             CARRY on your person distress flares
  •             TELL a responsible shore contact where you are going and when you will return.
Enjoy the water and keep safe!

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