Transport Safety Victoria – An important message regarding Kayak & Canoe safety.
Earlier this year, Transport Safety Victoria (TSV) held a discussion session at Lakes Entrance for commercial businesses who hire or run kayak, canoe or SUP activities. This is one of several discussion sessions being held around Victoria. Transport Safety Victoria TSV are the State Government Agencies that manages all waterways. They delegate various waterway management responsibilities to Water Police, Gippsland Ports, Parks Victoria, Coast Guard etc.
The session was held at SEAMEC Lakes Entrance. The presenter was Gareth Johnson, Marine Surveyor with Marine Safety Victoria (MSV), which is part of TSV. Gareth is also an active sea-kayaker and recently crossed Bass Strait.
The presentation was aimed at any business who hires or loans out Kayaks, Canoes or SUP boards. This includes accommodation business who may have a few kayaks in the back shed which are available to guests! All “boat” hire businesses have many responsibilities and procedures regarding safety and maintenance of vessels… These responsibilities and procedures also apply to businesses hiring or conducting kayak tours. While it is acknowledged Kayaks, Canoe and SUP boards are not a registered boat and users do not need a license, research has shown many users do get into difficulty due to lack of training, advice and proper procedures. Unfortunately there has been several deaths from Kayak accidents and many searches for lost kayakers. As a business hiring or loaning kayaks, it is important to have procedures in place as the cost of a search (lost kayaker) can be a big expense on the hirer…
TSV are encouraging any business who hires or conduct tours to undertake the following. Documented procedures (Written and tick the box) for:
Regular maintenance of all equipment (Kayak, paddle, jacket etc)
Instruction on the use of equipment
Fitting of suitable Lifejacket
Defined geographical limits
Explanation of weather conditions
Time frames to conduct activity.
TSV encourage all Kayak, canoe or SUP Board hire or tour businesses to produce a “Safety Management Plan” (all commercial boat tour or hire businesses must do it now by law) thus this document (SMP) will contain all information about the water activity including check lists (appendices) thus demonstrate to authorities and insurance companies you have taken all possible care to inform the user.
The TSV website has more information. Transport Safety Victoria.
Words and information provided by Skipper Pete LAKES-EXPLORER Sea-Safari & Water Taxi