KASK Safety Initiatives

Following a grim 2003/04 paddling summer, with two sea kayakers drowning, another killed in a collision with a power boat and several offshore rescues that were ever so close to joining the fatality statistics, KASK developed two major safety initiatives:

Database of all kayaking incidents

This started with a focus on incidents involving death, injury or rescue. First analysis of the database shows that many serious incidents, involving solo paddlers or groups, were caused by paddlers being caught by strong offshore winds. A critical factor in many incidents was the failure to carry any appropriate signalling device for calling in a rescue, such as day/night flares, VHF radio or mobile phone. See Incidents & Accidents Database

Safe Sea Kayaking brochure

KASK identified a need for a safety publication well over a year ago and the above results certainly justified this. The objective was to highlight best safety practices for novice paddlers. With the content and format from KASK, with considerable input from the KASK Committee into this publication. This was also significantly supported by Water Safety New Zealand, with a grant towards the printing of the publication and administrative support.

 Safeseakayak3h A Basic Guide To Safe Sea Kayaking ~ October 2004.

Is a six page glossy brochure which promotes safe and enjoyable sea kayaking. It is a free publication.

The first two pages detail kayak and equipment terms, what clothing should be worn and what emergency signalling devices should be carried. Two pages list what skills are necessary, both before launching and on the water. The final page advises people not to become a statistic, promotes KASK’s aims, and the 146 page KASK handbook, Manual for Sea Kayaking in New Zealand.

Cathye Haddock, author of the Mountain Safety Council, Mountain Safety Manual, Outdoor Safety. Risk Management for Outdoor Leaders, advises this brochure, is now ‘best practice’ for beginning safe sea kayaking in NZ.

KASK and Water Safety New Zealand both aim for widespread distribution of this brochure.

  • To support it being given with every new sea kayak sold in New Zealand.
  • To ensure that it is available to retail outlets.
  • To promote it to teaching identities such as polytechs, so that it reaches outdoor students and education outside the classroom, for use as a teaching tool.

Click here to download your FREE Safe Seakayaking Brochure PDF (842 KB).

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