ocean kayak safety tips

Kayaking is one of the safest outdoor sports, but it has the potential to be very dangerous if common sense safety rules are not followed or unexpected conditions are not handled well. Remember that the better you prepare for your trip, the better your potential experience. If you or a loved one has experienced an ocean kayak injury, please contact personal injury lawyer today.

Ocean Kayak Safety Tips

  • Enroll in a kayak safety course with a qualified instructor; teaching should cover proper paddling techniques, water safety, and self-rescue/assisted-rescue. Be sure to get some actual practice in self-rescue techniques before heading out for a real trip.
  • Enroll in a basic first aid class that includes CPR.
  • Always kayak with a friend.
  • Create a “float Plan” and stick to it. Tell at least one person where you are going, including planned stops, and when you expect to return. Leave a copy of the plan on your car seat as well as with your designated friend and call said friend when you are back on dry land.
  • Before heading out, especially before the first paddle of the season, check your ocean kayak for wear and tear and ensure that everything is working properly.
  • Before heading out, check online or with a local weather service for expected weather conditions, currents, shoreline conditions, and water temperature. If the water temperature is cold, be prepared by wearing a wet or dry suit. If the weather will be hot, a long sleeved shirt and sun hat can help to protect from a sun burn.
  • ALWAYS wear a personal flotation device (PFD). There is always a chance that your kayak could capsize and a PFD will keep your head above water. The coast guard requires that you at least have a PFD on board.
  • Keep an eye out for off-shore winds that can make it difficult to return to shore.
  • Always check for and follow the boating rules of the area you’re in-they are there to protect you.
  • Never head out on your ocean kayak while intoxicated.
  • Never exceed the weight limit of your kayak.
  • If you plan to paddle in a surf zone or in rivers, you should wear a helmet for protection. There are often large rocks that could cause head injury in the event of an accident.
  • Stay hydrated and keep your blood sugar up by packing plenty of food and water for your journey. Pack one gallon of water per paddler per day and pack extra snacks that are high in fats and protein such as nuts.
  • Plan an “escape” route; an alternative place to get off the water if unexpected bad weather or other conditions arise.

Extra things to Pack

  • Basic first-aid kit.
  • Whistle or air-horn.
  • Float line.
  • Paddle float (to assist in a cap-size)
  • Spare paddle.

If you cap-size

  • Don’t panic
  • Stay with your kayak
  • Find your paddle and hold on to it
  • Float on your back so you can push off objects such as rocks or submerged logs with your feet
  • Stay upstream in currents to avoid getting caught between the kayak and rocks

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!