The accessibility of the coast, the boom in staycations and the increased ownership of canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards this summer has seen an increase in incidents requiring rescue.
The coastline offers some of the best sea kayaking and paddling opportunities, but anyone venturing out needs to understand the risks and paddle safely.
British Canoeing has been working with the RNLI to publish safety information that sets out the steps you need to take to stay safe on the sea and coastal waters. It also provides valuable information to both novice and experienced paddlers.
RNLI Safety guidance
To stay safe on the sea and coastal waters:
If you are a beginner learn some essential skills and paddle within your limits: to get started head to your local club or centre to take the Discover Award.
You should initially paddle in environments and conditions that you are familiar with. Paddling independently in coastal waters should only be considered if you are very experienced and competent in the water.
Identifying your boat or craft can also help the Coastguard and RNLI. Simply write your name and contact number with a permanent marker pen, or laminated identification stickers can be ordered, free of charge, through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website.
Paddlers are entirely responsible for their own safety at all times and that the resources of the waterways authorities and the emergency services are limited.
For further advice and safety checklists visit the Go Paddling website:
RNLI website resources