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Paddling safety

Paddling a canoe or kayak along a river or around a lake is an invigorating way to explore a national park and a great way to exercise and stay fit. To make your time out on the water safer and more enjoyable, please follow these paddling safety tips.

Read more about Paddling safety

Be seen

Wear suitable clothing for the conditions and make sure you are highly visible to other paddlers.

Attach reflective tape to your vessel and paddles to increase visibility.

Make sure your safety equipment is in good working condition and easily accessible.

In the water

If you capsize, stay with your vessel–a vessel is much easier to spot in the water than a person.

Beware of trees and snags, like submerged logs or tree roots.

To avoid losing your paddles attach them to your vessel with shock cords.

Where possible, always paddle in a group to maximise your safety.

Take a mobile phone and Personal Location Beacon (PLB) in case of emergency.

Tell somebody

If you're going kayaking or canoeing in remote areas, tell your family or friends where you're going, when you expect to return and who is with you. They can contact NSW Police if you don't return on time. You can do this by filling in a trip intention form.

For more information about staying safe in kayaks and canoes visit the Roads and Maritime Services website.

Kayaker at Nelson Lagoon. Photo: David Finnegan/DPIE