Safety is Paramount

If everyone in a group has passed the Level2 paddling qualification then you may head out on the canal or up river in peer groups of three paddlers or more. Those without a Level2  should have an Instructor type as part of the group.

If you’re heading down the Lower Corrib or further afield as a peer group all should have Level3. For actual club activities a final decision is at the discretion of the Safety Officer or White Water Officer.

The above is obviously in addition to the 3 basic safety rules of an ability to swim, never paddling alone (less than three there never shall be) and ensuring adequate buoyancy for yourself as well as your boat. If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with us for more information.

Safe paddling !!!

The details:

Basic Safety Rules.

The following is a list of minimum guidelines which must be observed & promoted by all members of GKC. This list is by no means exhaustive, other information on water safety is available from the Irish Canoe Union, the RNLI and from the Irish Water Safety Association.

The three basic safety principles are:-

  1. You must be able to confidently swim at least 25 mtr in a river.
  2. You must wear a Buoyancy Aid at all Times.
  3. You must never paddle in a group of less than three people.

Other recommendations include the following:-

  1. You must wear the appropriate clothing and equipment for the weather conditions, i.e. suitable wet suit or dryclothing so as to keep you warm.
  2. Bring a snack or a drink, you may get hungry or thirsty and a trip may last for longer than expected.
  3. You must wear suitable safety equipment, as a minimum this includes the following:
    • A Safety Helmet in good condition and fitting properly.
    • A Buoyancy Aid in good condition and fitting properly with the correct buoyancy for your size and weight.
    • A wet suit or dry top & trouser.
    • A suitable cag jacket.
    • Canoe boots with protective soles.
  4. You must arrange to have dry clothing to change into at the end of the trip.
  5. Have a first aid kit with you and know how to use it.
  6. You must wear your helmet (fastened) at all times while on the water and on the river bank.
  7. You must not get on to the water until a competent senior paddler(s) is on the water and with your group.
  8. You must remain within the group for the duration of the trip, never break away by yourself and make sure to notify your group immediately if you cannot keep up with them.
  9. A group should not move faster than the slowest paddler.
  10. Your boat should have suitable flotation, this could include air bags.
  11. Always avoid trees, bushes and obstacles in which you could get snagged.
  12. Operate a “Buddy System” and look out for each other.
  13. Bring a water proof phone, call one of us if you need advise or help

Reading this list is not a substitute for proper safety training & taking responsibility for your own safety.

GKC encourage all members to attend proficiency and safety courses organised by the club and other qualified organisations such as the Irish Canoe Union.

Remember… If in Doubt… Ask….