Advice for those hiring Canoes and Kayaks

With rain dominating the forecasts and flooding dominating the headlines Canoeing’s National Governing Bodies advise those hiring equipment to plan their activity carefully.
Canoeing on the Wye is very popular and has been so for many years. Hundreds of Thousands of people have taken to the water for the first time on the stretches of this river and had great experiences and memories to treasure of a great day out. Many people have hired equipment to take to the river for one of the numerous hire companies that exist on the river and again had positive experiences.
Canoeing like any outdoor sport is an assumed risk sport. The high rainfall that the UK has experienced over the last few months has lead to a number of incidents on the River Wye for inexperienced or first time participants who have taken to the river as an activity. Canoeing’s National Governing Body always advises planning and preparation, however in times of unusual high water it is essential to consider the conditions and your ability to manage them.
Richard Harvey, Chief Executive of Canoe Wales said:
“We are experiencing very unusual water conditions for the season on the Wye and anyone getting on the rivers should be aware of the additional risks that exist and are presented by extended rainfall and high water. This applies to all but especially to those taking to the water for the first time and to those hiring equipment if they have limited experience of the sport and the river. To the inexperienced or first time paddler a brown fast moving river shows little danger, whilst in fact the opposite is true. Simply put the speed of the water compounds things, dangers can often be submerged and minor mishaps can very quickly escalate in rescue scenarios. Unfortunately we have experienced some of these incidents this year on the Wye due to high water levels. We have provided some pointers for participants to consider when taking to the water and hiring equipment. This is common sense based. We are at pains to remind participants that the decision to go afloat must be your own, but that everyone should make an informed and educated choice about the conditions, their party’s fitness, experience and ability. Consider carefully and ask questions about the service conditions on offer from hire provider before taking to the water. A few moments to consider the trip and conditions can make the difference between an incident and an enjoyable fondly remembered adventure.”  Read more on the Canoe Wales website…