Be Safe – Be Seen

These fun boats are common on lakes, rivers and around the coast. Used properly, they 
are very safe, but their limitations need to be understood.

  • When kayaking in areas used by other craft, make sure you will be seen. A kayak can be almost invisible to skippers of other craft. Wearing bright clothing, having brightly coloured paddle blades with reflector strips, and displaying a very bright orange or red flag about a metre above the water on a rod will greatly reduce the chance of being run down accidentally;
  • Only experienced, fit paddlers should use a kayak in rough water;
  • Kayaks can easily capsize. It is essential to have buoyancy fitted to make sure it stays level so it can be re-boarded;
  • Always wear a buoyancy-vest or life jacket designed for kayaking;
  • Make sure you do not become separated from your kayak following a capsize;
  • Between sunset and sunrise a kayak must display a white light. It can be a 360º (fixed white light or a torch, but a flashing light or strobe is not acceptable (strobe lights are used to mark a man overboard). The white light should be bright enough to be seen 2 miles (about 4km) away. Colours other than white are not allowed;
  • Get tuition at a kayaking club or at Coastguard Boating Education phone 0800 40 80 90.