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Paddle Safe - wear a personal floatation device

15 May 2014

Kayak and canoe paddlers are reminded to take responsibility for their own safety when out on the water and wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times.

Marine Safety Officer Todd Graham says kayak and canoe paddlers in any waters of the state must wear a personal flotation device, commonly referred to as a lifejacket, irrespective of whether they are off the metropolitan coastline or on the River Murray.

“They are discovering the freedom and enjoyment of taking to the water on a self-propelled craft but they are still subject to safety equipment requirements, and a PFD must be worn by everyone on the craft,” Mr Graham said.

“There is no excuse for not wearing a PFD when paddling as newer styles designed for paddlers are available and are far more comfortable for paddling than the older models.

“A couple of tragic incidents this year have shown how quickly the water can turn from a place of pleasure to peril.

“Before going out on the water you should also plan your trip, tell someone when and where you are going and when you intend to return, and always confirm your safe return.

“Where possible paddle with another person and most importantly get the latest weather forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology before setting off.

Mr Graham also reminds kayak and canoe paddlers on other waters including the River Murray that these waters can also change quickly.

“Don’t wait for an emergency to wear your PFD – high risk situations can happen very quickly out on the water.”

“Safety equipment requirements for all areas including Protected, Semi Protected and Unprotected waters can be found in the SA Recreation Boating Handbook or by visiting

For a free copy of the South Australian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook or the Kayaks and Canoes Safety Reference Guide please telephone 1300 183 046, or email

Kayak dusk