Tuesday, June 14, 2011

MCA Annual Canoe & Kayak Report

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has just published its annual canoeing and kayaking report which gives national statistics for 2010. 

Last year there were 456 canoeing and kayaking incidents in the UK. These included incidents where people got into difficulty due to underestimating weather and tidal conditions, lacked skill or were ill prepared. Abandoned kayaks and false alarms are incorporated within this statistic. Sadly, nine fatalities are also included. 

Report highlights include:

If boat owners put contact details on their craft and joined the CG66 small boat safety scheme the coastguard would be able to identify owners quickly and easily. This would result in fewer needless searches.

Kayakers and canoeists are encouraged to report their proposed activities to the appropriate coastguard maritime rescue coordination centre by routine telephone call or marine band radio.

If canoeists and kayakers are planning to leave their vehicles in public places for more than two days they should contact the coastguard.

The coastguard is receiving increasing reports of paddlers in difficulty which turn out to be kayakers fishing. If people are fishing they should contact the coastguard, by VHF radio if they have one or by telephone using the routine telephone number, to avoid wasted searches.

Some canoeists and kayakers are not wearing buoyancy aids or lifejackets – these are essential safety kit.

Participants who hired canoes and kayaks got into difficulty because they did not check weather and sea conditions.

Considering the total number of incidents throughout the year and the increasing number of paddling sport participants there were relatively few fatalities related to canoeing or kayaking incidents. 

You can download the complete report here

The following statistic were recently published within a thread on UK Sea Kayak Guidebook by an RNLI representative

2010: RNLI launched to paddlers 253 times out of a total of 8,713.
2009: RNLI launched to paddlers 274 times out of a total of 9,223.
2008: RNLI launched to paddlers 241 times out of a total of 8,293.

And here's a break down of the causes of those launches to paddlers:

2010 launches to paddlers:Adverse weather and conditions 114
Equipment failure 0
Man over board 24
Stranding/collision/nav failure 11
Person in difficulty 1
Other 103

2009 launches to paddlers: 
Adverse weather and conditions 138
Equipment failure 0
Man over board 26
Stranding/collision/nav failure 13
Person in difficulty 6
Other 91

2008 launches to paddlers:
Adverse weather and conditions 116
Equipment failure 2
Man over board 24
Stranding/collision/nav failure 6
Person in difficulty 9
Other 84

The 'other' category includes false alarms with good intent and malicious hoax calls, assistance by other people, searches where the casualty is not found or found by others, and incidents where the casualty has sorted out the situation themselves.

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