Kayak & Canoe Safety

Below you will find advice on how to stay safe while kayaking or canoeing on a Rage Against Rubbish litter pick. We really appreciate your help during our litter picks but it is VERY important that you stay safe at all times.

  • Ensure you are suitably dressed for the weather conditions and prepared if they should change. Consider layering up so you can adjust during the litter pick. Kayaking and canoeing can be hard work and your body temperature may increase.
  • Have a spare change of clothes/shoes should you fall in or get wet.
  • Wear your life jacket/buoyancy aid at ALL times while on the water/jetty/pontoon.
  • Ensure you can see a fellow kayaker/canoeist while paddling.
  • Carry a mobile phone in a waterproof bag for EMERGENCY use.
  • Make sure you are confident to swim to the bank FULLY clothed if you should capsize.
  • Drink a can of Coca Cola if you should capsize and swallow any canal water. Rumour has it that it will kill any nasties in the water and help prevent the risk of Weil’s disease.
  • Make sure that all children in your craft remain seated at all times. They are your responsibility.
  • Know how to evacuate the kayak or canoe in the event of a capsize.
  • Over reach while in your kayak or canoe to retrieve rubbish – this may cause you to capsize.
  • Attempt to retrieve heavy items from the water or bank – this may also cause you to capsize.
  • Stand up in your kayak or canoe while out on the water.
  • Pick up sharps with your hands, use a litter picker.
  • Kayak or canoe if you are not confident in your ability to swim to the bank in the event of a capsize.
  • Panic if you fall in the water. Raise an alarm so that others are aware.

One item that you may wish to carry on you while you are on the waterways is an emergency whistle fig 1. This ideally should be tethered to you your life jacket close to the shoulder strap see fig.2.

Fig 1 

Fig 2

Please click here for more information about Weil’s disease.

All our volunteers are covered by the Canal & River Trust public liability insurance while carrying out a Rage Against Rubbish litter pick activities.  This is providing you are working within the Health & Safety Guidelines set out by Rage Against Rubbish and you have signed the specific Risk Assessment on the day of the activity. For more information, please speak to Jason Winter, Chairman for Rage Against Rubbish.