Thursday, April 28, 2011

In over their heads

Not everyday is so placid

The latest issue of Ocean Paddler magazine has an article by Nigel Dennis describing a sea kayaking tragedy at Anglesey in 2010. A group of five paddled in an offshore wind of some 20 knots. The five had mixed experience paddling in challenging conditions and also did not take adequate safety equipment before departing. One paddler became a casualty.

How often are stories like this detailed in kayaking magazines? Too often.

I find the main themes are: paddling in conditions beyond the ability of the weakest paddler, not wearing safety gear (like a PFD) and hypothermia (not dressing for the water temperature).

Why do we constantly see these types of articles in what seems like month after month? Beyond the obvious reasons, I think newer paddlers do not read these articles. I know I didn't at first when I started but I had a healthy respect for the sea to begin with. There's no excuse now as many of these accident report articles are available on-line. Read and learn from the mistakes of others, that's why these magazines keep publishing accident reports.


  1. I couldnt agree more. Nothing better to learn from than others mistakes. HOWEVER No course teaches or assesses common sence and unfortunately you cant legislate it. I would think 80% are shorts wearing rec kayakers with no experience doing dumb shit. The others are unfortunate accidents that just happen.

  2. Funny thing common sense, its not that common!

    Tony :-)