Ten Kayak Fishing Safety Tips

Last Saturday the Flamborough lifeboat assisted with three rescues involving kayakers and kayak anglers around the Flamborough Head area.

Non of us like preaching on this site but please guys…

1. Make sure you have checked weather & tidal information and that it is within you capabilities before launching, if your not sure DO NOT LAUNCH. Take time to learn how the tides work on our coast and how even a slight wind can influence the tidal conditions. Remember conditions change hour by hour and can have a BIG affect on sea state especially in open water and around headlands.

2. Preferably don’t go alone – in fact DON’T go alone if you are new to the sport.

3. Make sure you are suitable dressed for the cold water environment – dress for immersion,  sea temperatures are at their lowest at the moment. Unsuitably dressed? Ten minutes in the water – Your DEAD.

4. Carry a working and charged portable VHF marine radio – and know how to use it. Wet mobile phones don’t work too well, keep it in an Aquapac and don’t expect reception under cliffs. Consider carrying a personal location beacon such as a McMurdo FastFind.

5. Make time to get yourself suitably trained, we are running VHF courses and Kayak Angling Safety Courses this Summer – you cannot have not seen them advertised.

6. Anchoring in tide is a RISK, manage and limit that risk by using the right techniques and practising in a slack/ still water environment.

7. When deciding to take up this hobby do as much research as you can, this forum is a gold mine of advice and information. Buy the right equipment the FIRST time, take good advice from reputable dealers, don’t skimp on safety equipment, flares, communication devices, a good fitting drysuit, a Buoyancy Aid that fits correctly. Check your equipment regularly – its your life, protect it.

8. Practice and practice again self rescue skills in a safe environment – in a very sheltered water environment and with someone close at hand.

9. Tell someone on the shore where you are going and what time you are expected back – you can tell the coastguard of your intentions.

10. A short budget kayak may get you afloat cheaply and quickly but a low volume 10ft kayak IS NOT a suitable craft for the Yorkshire Coast – 12ft minimum is more suitable. It is not simply the length, VOLUME is important too, reserve volume = stability.

Most things that are FUN in this life carry RISK, being out on the sea carries much risk. As long as we manage and limit that risk then we can concentrate on the FUN.

Stay safe, use these pages to get all the advice and information you need. If you want someone to accompany you on your trips just pipe up and ask, there are many of us up and down the coast who are more than willing to assist.  This list is not supposed to be exhaustive,  please feel free at add any further thoughts you may have.

We look forward to seeing you  out there this season

Further Reading