Sarah Donnelly, Lifeguard, County Mayo
t’s fantastic to see the rising interest in water sports all over the country. However, many people are purchasing craft that are unsafe and are going out on the water without getting proper training. As with all water sports, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
Advice for paddle boarding and kayaking
- Be able to swim. This is a must.
- Never use inflatable paddle boards or kayaks in open water.
- Location counts. Look for a calm body of water and stay close to shore.
- Be extra careful in shallow water to avoid falling into rocks or oyster beds.
- Always wear a lifejacket or personal buoyancy aid.
- Use a leash to keep you connected to your board at all times.
- Check the weather and water conditions before going out.
- Never go out on the water alone.
- Always tell someone on shore where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
- Have a means of calling for help in a waterproof bag – a fully charged mobile phone of VHF radio.
- Proper training is essential. Join a club in your area.