Equipment must be in a safe condition and suitable for the activity.
First aid kits
First aid kits appropriate to the location and level of training must be carried.
Structural strength needs to be sufficient to withstand the intended use and to minimise the likelihood of entrapment.
Cockpits must be clear of attachments and smooth on the edges to enable the student to exit quickly.
Hand loops at stern and bow need to be permanent and of sufficient strength to be used in rescues and boat retrievals. Painters are not recommended due to the danger of rope entrapment, although deck-lines on sea kayaks are required.
All craft must contain sufficient permanent upthrust to prevent sinking if capsized. Sea kayaks need buoyancy fitted to bulkheads fore and aft.
Craft should be matched to the activity undertaken.
Repair methods and equipment will vary according to the construction materials of the craft. Repair tape can be carried and used for temporary repairs, as long as the structural integrity of the craft is maintained. Arrange for temporary repairs to be replaced with more permanent repairs as soon as possible.
Helmets specifically designed for water activities must be worn when participating in a sea kayaking activity on moving water or where the activity involves entry or exit through the surf zone. Otherwise, helmets may be provided after consideration of:
- participants’ kayaking experience and skill
- the risk of participants sustaining a head injury due to the nature of the activities being undertaken during the session.
Paddles should be in good working order, be buoyant, appropriate to the activity and the correct length for the paddler.
Personal flotation devices
In all waters staff and students must wear a securely fitted Australian Standard Type 2 personal flotation device which complies with Victorian maritime safety regulations. See: Transport Safety Victoria - Personal Flotation Devices.
Rescue equipment that is suitable for the location or trip and category of water conditions must be in good condition and readily accessible. Staff must be proficient in its use.
Spray decks must be fitted with release tapes or toggles. Students must only use spray decks after direct tuition, practice and close supervision of their capacity to exit the craft.