Most people are very careful when they are on the water, and accidents are pretty rare.
but when you are paddle boarding in open water, you should still be more cautious even if the odds of accidents are low because an inflatable can be easily affected by wind and tides. You can be swept out to sea much quicker than you can swim or paddle back to the shore. So make sure you know how to keep yourself safe and avoid getting yourself into serious situation.
A lot of people are not paying enough attention to the water safety warnings.
RNLI, which is short for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, is a water safety charity and it’s been advising people to be aware of the dangers at the coast, and to know what to do should they or a member of their family get into trouble.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be fewer lifeguards than normal around UK and Ireland. So knowing the dangers of the coast and how to keep you and your family safe are more important now than ever.
Float to Live
You don’t expect accidents to happen but you need to know what to do in case it actually happens. Below is the main advice RNLI gives for when you are struggling in the water.
They recommend doing the following:
1. Fight your instinct to thrash around.
First, stay calm and try not to panic. Your instinct will be to swim hard, don’t.
2. Lean back, extend your arms and legs.
Lean back, extending your arms and legs, to keep your mouth and nose out of the water and your airway clear.
3. If you need to, gently move them around to help you float.
If you need to, gently move your arms and legs in a sculling motion( a bit like when using an oar in a boat) to help you float.
4. Float until you can control your breathing.
Float until you can control your breathing, Do this for 60-90 seconds or until you feel calm.
5. Only then, call for help, swim to safety or continue floating until help arrives.
Only now can you think about the next steps. If you can, swim to safety. If someone is nearby, raise a hand and call for help.
Other top tips for SUP Safety while paddle boarding on open water
1. Don't get out on the water alone.
If possible, go with a friend or join a group. It could be dangerous to paddle alone. Paddling with company is more fun and safe.
2. Tell someone you can trust where you are going.
If you can’t find someone to go paddling with you, at least let someone know where you are going and when they can expect you to return.
3. Bring your phone with you.
Bring your phone with you and call for help if necessary.
4. Check the weather forecast before going out.
Check the weather forecast to avoid going out on a windy or rainy day.
5. Always wear a PFD.
It’s always recommended to go out on the water with buoyancy aid, even if you are a good swimmer.
6. Wear suitable clothing for the time of year.
In the winter, wear something that’s waterproof and able to keep you warm even if you fall into the water. Suitable choices include a wetsuit and a drysuit. In the summer, a swim suit is a good enough option.
7. Wear A SUP leash can help prevent your board from getting away from you when you fall off the board.
8. Get the appropriate level of training.
Paddle boarding is easy, but we’d still recommend beginners to have a few training sessions and learn the right technique.
Paddle boarding is not hard and very safe most of the time, but you can never be too careful. So you need to know what to do when you find yourself in a dangerous situation.