1. Prohibited: a) Circulation of canoes and kayaks under adverse weather conditions, as well as before sunrise and after sunset. b) Circulation of canoes and kayaks at a distance greater than five hundred meters from the coastline. c) The use of canoes and kayaks by individuals, regardless of age, who do not know how to swim, as well as by individuals under the age of fifteen for canoes and eighteen for kayaks. In the case of using a canoe by a person under the age limit, the consent of the person exercising parental care or guardianship is required, according to the Civil Code, who also certifies that the minor knows how to swim. The person under the age limit is visually supervised by the lessor or the designated responsible person by the lessor, within a distance of one hundred meters from the coastline. In case the underage person is not accompanied by an adult, the lessor or another person related to the lessor through an employment relationship accompanies the aforementioned underage person with an appropriate means, at their discretion, beyond the distance of one hundred meters from the coastline. d) Circulation of canoes and kayaks with a number of occupants exceeding the capacity specified by the manufacturer for the specific type of canoe or kayak.
2. All occupants of canoes and kayaks must wear individual life jackets.
3. The canoe and kayak operator must exercise due care and attention to avoid disturbing swimmers.
- 1. Article 2 (Interpretation) of the Protection of Swimmers at sea - Laws of 1968 and 1986 - Law 72/1968 and Law 12/1986:"Boat" means any motor or sailing vessel and includes a surfboard, a sea bike, a canoe, a sea scooter and any other floating means capable of putting in danger the safety of swimmers at sea as well as trailers under them;2. Its use and entrance to the sea is prohibited in a bathing area.Article 4 (1) Prohibition of transit through the areas:4 .- (1) The declaration of the area shall be prohibited when it(a) passes through it(b) is docked or parked therein3. It is prohibited to be attached to buoys that mark the bathing areas.Article 4 (B) It is prohibited when:4B. Any person who attaches any impure or other object to any buoy within the sea through which the area is designated, or interferes in any way with such buoy, then he is guilty of a criminal offense.
Canoeing and kayaking are two of the most popular boating activities. These paddle sports are easily accessible, appeal to nature enthusiasts and people seeking a physically demanding water experience, and can be done in settings as varied as small canals and open lakes.
Many people assume that canoeing is as simple as hopping in a canoe and setting off. However, paddling skills and an understanding of how to manage weight and boat balance are critical.
Canoeists can and should expect occasional capsizes. Most canoeing fatalities occur because the victims do not wear a personal flotation device, and drown when the canoe capsizes. Interestingly, a capsize is just as likely to occur in calm water as in rough water, perhaps because canoeists take less care in calm conditions.
Many canoe capsizes are caused by the casting of a fishing rod, by leaning over to retrieve something out of the water, horseplay, or standing to change positions or relieve oneself. Canoeists must be prepared to recover themselves in the water, fetch out necessary items, and regain control of the canoe and re-enter it from the water. When children are also present, they will certainly need extra assistance. An emergency capsize plan that takes this factor into account should be developed and practiced.
The sport of recreational kayaking is a booming business. In a calm Class 1 or 2 water setting, such as a calm “flat-water” river or lake, this sport can be a relaxing and healthy pastime. In stronger waters, this sport becomes an adventure sport, full of risk and action. However, even calm water kayaking (recreational) has its hazards, such as the risk of capsize and hypothermia, collision injuries with unseen rocks, or the very common paddle injury.
Kayakers are likely to suffer shoulder and wrist injuries, and shoulder dislocations mid-trip are frequent.
Why canoeing and kayaking can be risky for children and youth?
The use is prohibited by individuals who do not know swimming and by persons under the age of 14 years for canoeing and 16 years for kayak. Canoeing in calm waters can provide children with a unique close up view of a marine ecosystem. However, children are also likely to find it harder to sit still for long periods, especially if they are too young to paddle. Children also might have a more difficult time controlling their bladders, but urination should never be done off the side of the canoe because of the increased risk of a capsize, so plan extra stops into the trip
route. Young children may lack the maturity or hardiness to swim back to the canoe in the event of a capsize, or to upright or bail out a canoe, and adult passengers will have to assist them in what might be a hectic and frightening event. Beginners should practice capsize scenarios before they practice canoeing. The most important instruction is: “never leave the boat!” After a capsize, the boat should be turned upright and held until helps comes. Or, hold the boat by one arm (under the armpit) and use the other arm to swim to the closest bank.
Never fasten a child into a boat with a
lifeline, it can cause drowning should the
boat capsize or take on water.
Kayakers are seated right in the water, leaving them directly vulnerable to injuries from water spray and temperature or collision with objects. Children will suffer from cold and hypothermia much more quickly than adults, so be sure that they are adequately dressed and have a change of clothes available should they become wet. Additionally, growing children will not have the strength to perform many of the assist- or selfrescue techniques that are key to kayaking and therefore can not serve as full kayaking partners. To master the rolls needed to upright a capsized sit-in canoe takes strength, good nerves, and years of practice. These skills will be beyond all young children and can only be attained through repeated instruction once the body has developed enough strength.
Recommendations for canoe and kayak equipment rental and operation
● The use of a canoe / kayak is prohibited by individuals who do not know swimming and by persons under the age of 14 years for canoe and 16 years for kayak.
● Use of a personal flotation device (PFD) should be required at all times for all participants
● Young children can be provided with a mini paddle so that they can be active participants, even if their paddle strokes are not productive. Children paddling should also wear gloves to prevent blisters. Children should never use paddles too large for them.
● Children should be taught how to sit safely, never to lean their shoulders out over the boat rim, never to reach for an object in the water, and to ask for assistance should they wish to change position.
● Never tie a child or his PFD to a canoe or kayak, this can cause drowning.
● Do not tie too many objects or toys to the canoe, the lines can cause entanglement and drowning.
● Do not tie paddles to a kayak in white water, nor when children are present.
● Before venturing out, children and passengers should practice holding onto a capsized canoe or kayak in the water in order to improve their emergency reaction.
● Pair experienced adults with children.
● Tours with many children should have an accompanying rescue boat.
What safety factors to look for in choosing and maintaining equipment for your operation
The hull design of canoes which may be ridden in by children and novices should provide extra stability, and should be large enough for at least 2 adults to accompany minor passengers. In very calm waters, rafted (joined) canoes provide extra stability and can help mixed skill groups make progress more easily. However, once rafted canoes take on water or hit choppy conditions, they are more likely to submerge than individual canoes. Having an emergency release on the lines can prevent this.
Canoes should have floating capacity even if they fill with water after a capsize. This is a standard required of the boat producer but it should be tested by the user. Try to submerge the boat by filling it with water. The boats should remain floating enough to serve as a buoyancy aid for capsized passengers. If it fails the test, then extra buoyancy should be put inside the boat in fixed form.
Deckliners on kayaks will help passengers grasp a capsized kayak. Sit on top (SOT) kayaks, which have a closed hull rather than a spray skirt, are a good alternative for growing children and novice adults. They are far easier to re-enter after a capsize and do not require bailing first. Additionally, they can be intentionally exited for a quick dip or bathroom break.
Always have at least 2 staff members present – one to speak with clients and handle training, and the other to assist in entry and exit activity.
● Check all weather forecasts so you do not send clients out in deteriorating conditions.
● Be sure that your staff members are trained in CPR and first aid.
● Equipment to have on hand in a canoe includes binoculars, a VHF radio, whistles, first aid kit, an extra paddle, emergency oxygen supply, and flares.
● A kayak will require all the above items plus a throw rope and a knife to cut ropes.
● All items should be stored in waterproof float containers, or in the provided compartments of a kayak.
● If you will be leading a tour, have a safety plan in place. Large groups of children should be accompanied by a safety boat and should not roam far from shore or out in choppy conditions.
● All staff members should be able to clearly communicate the risks and safety rules to clients. A language barrier could pose a problem should an accident occur, both in terms of immediate medical care and liability for having failed to properly communicate the rules.
● Staff should very regularly check reliable sources regarding wind and water conditions.
*Source : European Child Safety Alliance, Eurosafe; 2008.- With the support of the European Commission