Kayak Safety

 

KAYAK SAFETY GEAR CHECK LIST

All paddlers should be familiar with and carry an assortment of safety equipment.
Your list will vary depending on the difficulty of your paddle.

  • LIFE VEST / PFD ( COAST GUARD APPROVED ) MANDATORY! $100.00 fine.
    ( a better PFD has 2 or more pockets to carry an assortment of emergency equipment.)
    →items marked with an ARROW should be attached to the PFD
  • →CELL PHONE AND/OR V.H.F. RADIO IN DRYBAG ( VHF radios can get better coverage by the Coast Guard statewide but still have areas of blackout. Cell Phones also have areas of blackout and both VHF and cell phones need line of site to antenna locations on each island. One is good, both are better! ) ( waterproof radios are more waterproof in a Drybag! )
  • →E-PIRBE / PLB ( emergency Personal Locating Beacons ) A distress beacon that sends your I.D.# and current Latitude and Longitude to the Coast Guard.
  • →WHISTLE ( the loudest one possible is the Storm Whistle ) or HORN ( air powered )
  • →MIRROR ( day strobe ) and/or SMOKE FLARES
  • →SEE-RESCUE ( better than dye, can also be used on land )
  • →FLARES – Red Aerial type
  • →STROBE LIGHT AND/OR WATERPROOF DIVE FLASHLIGHT
  • →KNIFE
  • →VHF RADIO OR EPIRB/PLB IS NOW MANDATORY OVER 1 MILE OFFSHORE! $100.00 fine.
  • PADDLE LEASH AND/OR ANKLE LEASH TO KAYAK/CANOE
  • BILGE PUMP ( necessary to pump water out of the kayak hull if flooded )
  • SEA ANCHOR ( for holding position during high winds to keep from being blown out to sea – can also be used for hold your kayak in place while you are swimming and as a brake while kite sailing or fishing )
  • PROPER CLOTHING & SUN PROTECTION:
  • SUNSCREEN
  • AQUATIC FOOTWEAR ( for foot protection from the reef )
  • CLOTHING ( synthetics instead of cotton preferred ) and HAT ( for sun protection )
  • WATER FOR DRINKING ( if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! )
  • TOW ROPE ( for emergency towing, needs a bicycle inner tube for shock absorption )
  • EXTRA PADDLE ( attached to kayak in case main paddle breaks or is lost )
  • FIRST AID KIT ( sting aid, benadryl, bandages, pliers for fishhook removal, etc. )
  • REPAIR KIT FOR KAYAK ( duct tape, spare parts, tools, rope, etc.,)
  • HELMET ( for Surfing, Rock Gardens, Sea Caves, and Nasty Landings and Takeoffs )


LEAVE A FLOAT PLAN ( Preferably with someone who cares! ) AND ALWAYS GO WITH A PADDLE PARTNER.

PLAN AHEAD, CHECK THE WEATHER, AND BE PREPARED FOR WORST CASE SENARIOS.

A FLOAT PLAN REQUIRES YOU TO TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING, WHAT YOU ARE PLANNING TO DO, AND WHEN YOU SHOULD BE BACK. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK IN WITH THEM WHEN YOU RETURN TO CONCLUDE YOUR PADDLE.