Paddle safe - plan your trip - video transcript

Narrator: Before you set out, check the weather, especially the wind direction, tides, swell, any flood warnings and plan your trip around the conditions. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. Know what wind strength you can handle depending on where you plan to go. And remember that conditions can change rapidly. Even flat water can quickly become wind-affected, especially large open bodies of water. At sea, swell can add to the wind waves. Take tide and current into account when planning a trip. Tides change around every 6 hours or so. Changes in tides affect sea and river conditions. Low tides can expose hidden hazards such as rocks and oysters. Take particular care with bars. It’s always safest to cross a bar at slack tide – which occurs at the turn of the tide. An outgoing tide can be extremely difficult to paddle against, and you could get caught out unable to get back. The waves at a bar at low tide get steeper and more challenging. If you are paddling on a fresh-water river, check the current rain forecasts and river conditions. Moving waters in rivers are dangerous at any time, as they wash down debris, and disguise hazards such as fences or submerged objects. Trees, logs and bridges can be very hazardous, especially in high water. Don’t paddle or try to wade through flood waters – people have drowned this way.

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