Centre for Maritime Safety

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Paddle safe

Paddling is for fitness, challenge, relaxation - or simply to get to beautiful places.

Paddling is great to help you get fit. Some like it as a challenge. Others simply like it to relax and get to beautiful places. Whatever you use it for, it’s good to know about paddle safety so things don't go wrong.

Try our new free online Paddle Sports Safety Course which as an introduction to new paddlers, provides handy safety tips before you get out on the water. The course is fully narrated and you can complete it at your own pace to get the most out of the information.

Paddle sports safety course

A free introductory online course with handy safety tips for new and experienced paddlers.

Start the course

The key safety points in the course are:

  • Wearing an appropriate lifejacket.
  • Increasing your visibility.
  • Paddling techniques.
  • Having the right equipment.
  • Knowing the boating rules.
  • Understanding the conditions of your trip and planning appropriately.

In 2014, we published a Paddle Safe Strategy (pdf 194KB). The Strategy is about doing the right thing to be safe and responsible when you’re using paddle craft. A part of this includes making sure you’re visible and wearing a lifejacket.

Below, you can look at a series of important safety videos with pointers on how to stay safe when you’re out on the water paddling.

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Wear a lifejacket

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Be safe be seen

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Know the rules

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The right equipment

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Plan your trip

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Know your limits