Recent kayaking accidents speak to need for good safety training: association

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Kayak Newfoundland and Labrador (KNL) says a recent rash of kayaking accidents in the province speaks to the need for good safety training for everyone paddling on the cold Atlantic waters.
So far this season, KNL noted in a news release, there have been five kayaking accidents in the province, including one fatality.
"Kayaking is normally a safe and highly enjoyable form of recreation, but it does entail risks that can be serious," said KNL?president Alex McGruer.
"Kayaking with a combination of low skill, bad judgment, poor fitness, rough sea state, low water temperature, improper equipment, and high wind can be dangerous.
"Experienced kayakers deal with the risk by training well for rescues, and by exercising good judgment with respect to knowing when the wind is too high for safe paddling. We stress the need for proper training in kayaking safety measures. People wanting to get into kayaking can take Paddle Canada courses from certified local trainers."
McGruer also said KNL warns people to use good judgment by not paddling in windy conditions beyond one's skill, fitness and experience levels.
"The choice of paddling destination is also important, and novices should not paddle in exposed ocean areas where there's lots of swell or where they could been blown out to sea, nor should they paddle in isolated areas where rescue is difficult," he said.
"We want to remind people that most of the salt waters of Newfoundland and Labrador are cold, even in the summer, and that kayakers should wear good thermal protection - for the water temperature, not the air temperature."

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Tony
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Well said Mr. Mcgruer. I must agree that the main issue must be one of ignorance. People must be aware of the cold water temps we paddle in when kayaking in newfoundland and all must be prepared to swim in it. I must admit I am a little shocked at the lack of respect given to the sea by some kayakers as this growing train of thought, push the limits appears to grow . I do believe people can push the limits but they must adhere to the paddle canada guidelines by paddling within their paddling ability and if they wish to push the limits surrond themselves with the appropriate skill levels needed to do this safely. Thermal protoection is a must, we simply cannot survive in our ocean water without it and if we push the limits we must accept that swimming is a likely outcome. Great job Alex!!!