Enclosed and coastal waters paddlecraft


Enclosed & Coastal Waters Paddle-craft Good Practice Guide

Guidance for canoeing, sit in & sit on top kayaking and stand up paddleboarding on enclosed & coastal waters.

Version 1.0 | Date 23 Sept 2019 | Details: Version one release.


Acknowledgment, disclaimer and preface

Acknowledgment, disclaimer and preface
Traditional owner acknowledgement

The Outdoor Council of Australia and the Australian AAS Steering Committee would respectfully like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, their Elders past, present and emerging, for the important role Indigenous people continue to play in Australia and most especially on the land and waters used for outdoor activities and recreation.

Disclaimer

Copyright
Copyright 2019 Outdoor Council of Australia.

Disclaimer
The information published in the Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS) and accompanying Good Practice Guides (GPG’s), including this document, is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for, or intended to replace, independent, professional or legal advice. The information contained in the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and the Good Practice Guides are a guide only. Activity providers and any other person accessing the documentation should consider the need to obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances, including the specific adventure activities and needs of the dependent participants.

The information published in the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and Good Practice Guides are subject to change from time to time. Outdoor Council of Australia gives no warranty that the information is current, correct or complete and is not a definitive statement of procedures. Outdoor Council of Australia reserves the right to vary the content of the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and/or Good Practice Guides as and when required. Activity providers should make independent inquiries as to the correctness and currency of the content and use their own skill and care with respect to their use of the information.

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard and Good Practice Guides do not replace any statutory requirements under any relevant State and Territory legislation and are made available on the express condition that Outdoor Council of Australia together with the authors, consultants, advisers and the Australian Adventure Activity Standard Steering Committee members who assisted in compiling, drafting and ratifying the documents:

  • are not providing professional or legal advice to any person or organisation; and
  • are not liable for any loss resulting from an action taken or reliance made on any information or material contained within the Australian Adventure Activity Standard, Good Practice Guides and associated documents.
Preface
Forward

“Adventure is worthwhile” – Aristotle

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard and Good Practice Guides are designed to ensure effective, responsible, sustainable and safe delivery of adventure activities to dependent participants. They can help people across the outdoor sector to develop appropriately managed adventure activities which enhance individuals and our communities, while protecting the environment and culturally significant places. In doing this, these documents can help ensure that people will continue to enjoy the benefits of adventure activities well into the future.

Best wishes for all your adventures.

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard Steering Committee.

About these documents

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS) and related Good Practice Guides (GPG’s) are a voluntary good-practice framework for safe and responsible planning and delivery of outdoor adventure activities with dependent participants.

The AAAS and related GPG’s provide guidance on safety and other aspects of responsible activity delivery, such as respect for the environment, cultural heritage and other users. They are not a full legal compliance guide, nor are they a “how to” guide or field manual for outdoor activities. They do not provide guidance on providing a high-quality experience over and above safe and responsible delivery.

Activity providers are encouraged to obtain independent professional and legal advice in relation to their obligations and duties in delivering adventure activities and should reference the relevant laws to the area in which they intend to undertake the adventure activity.

Does the Standard and Good Practice Guides apply to me?

The AAAS and related GPG’s are specifically designed to help activity providers who are conducting activities involving dependent participants, to provide a safe and responsible experience. It is for each provider to determine based on their own individual circumstances, if they are working with dependent participants or not.

A dependent participant is a person owed a duty of care by the activity provider who is reliant upon the activity leaders for supervision, guidance or instruction to support the person’s participation in an activity. For example, this often includes participants under the age of 18, participants lacking the ability to safely undertake the activity, or participants reasonably relying on the activity provider for their safety. The degree of dependence may vary during an activity.

Considerations for determining if a person is a dependent participant may include, but is not limited to:

  • the foreseeable level of competence of the participant in the activity and the associated level of reliance this creates on the activity leaders
  • the level of foreseeable self-reliance of the participant to reasonably manage their own safety
  • the possible variation throughout the activity of the level of reliance
  • the variation of the degree of dependence throughout the activity
  • the individual context, nature and circumstances of the activity
  • the relevant circumstances and particular facts relating to the responsibilities assumed by the provider.

An activity provider can be any organisation – business, community group, government agency, school or any other groups – that organises and leads adventure activities. Individuals can also be an activity provider, if they have the ultimate legal duty of care to participants. In general, ‘the Standard’ and GPG’s relate to a provider as a ‘whole organisation’, rather than to ‘specific roles’ within the provider ‘organisation’.

Some providers may have their own standards or guidelines appropriate to their duty of care. It is recommended that these be reviewed periodically to ensure current duty of care expectations are met. ‘The Standard’ and ‘GPG’s’ may aid such reviews.

Are they legally binding?

The AAAS and GPG’s are voluntary, not legal requirements. However, they may refer to specific laws and regulations which may be legally binding on activity providers.

While the AAAS and ‘GPG’s’ are voluntary, some land managers and other organisations may require compliance. This may be as a condition of obtaining a licence, permit or other permission, or some other condition (e.g. a contract).

Under Australian common law and relevant legislation, providers have a legal duty of care towards dependent participants in some circumstances. In broad terms, the legal duty requires providers to take reasonable care that their actions and omissions do not cause reasonably foreseeable injury to dependent participants.

The AAAS and GPG’s are not legal advice, and they cannot answer whether a legal duty exists in specific circumstances. All adventure activity providers should check what legal requirements apply in their own situation and seek legal advice if at all in doubt.

Even in cases where participants are not dependent, other legal duties and obligations may arise. The AAAS and GPG’s have not been developed for those contexts.

Structure of the Standard and Good Practice Guides

The AAAS (i.e. the Standard) has a related Core Good Practice Guide (Core GPG). They both include guidance that applies to all adventure activities. They set out recommendations for a common approach to risk management that can generally apply regardless of the specific activity being undertaken.

Individual activity Good Practice Guides include guidance on specific adventure activities.

Shows how the Standard, Core good practice guide and activity good practice guides fit together.s

For any given activity, (i) the AAAS (the Standard), (ii) the Core GPG and (iii) the activity Good Practice Guide that applies to that specific activity, should be consulted.

The AAAS and Core GPG cover only those activities specifically listed. While the AAAS and Core GPG may be useful in managing risk generally for other activities, they may not reflect good practice for such other activities.

Interpretation of the Standard and Good Practice Guides

The following words and phrases are used in all documents and have specific meanings:

  • Must: used where a provision is mandatory, if the provider is to operate fully in accordance with AAAS or GPG’s. (This is equivalent to the keyword “shall” used in other voluntary standards e.g. Standards Australia, other International Standards Organisations (ISO’s) etc.)
  • Should: used where a provision is recommended, not mandatory. It indicates that the provider needs to consider their specific situation and decide for themselves whether it applies or is relevant.
  • Can/cannot: indicates a possibility and capability.
  • May/need not: indicates a permission or existence of an option.
  • But are/is not limited to: used to indicate that a list is not definitive and additional items may need to be considered depending on the context.

The following formatting is used throughout:

  • Defined words are in italics. They are defined in the Glossary.
  • Examples are in smaller italic 9-point font.
  • In document references are in underlined. References are to section heading titles.
  • External web or Australian AAS & GPG document links are in dotted underline italic.
Creation

The AAAS and GPG’s were developed with the input from a wide range of outdoors and adventure activity experts with extensive field experience. They draw on state and territory-specific standards previously in place across Australia. The development process included work by a range of technical expert working groups, as well as open consultation throughout the community of activity providers and other experts.

The Steering Committee wishes to thank all the Technical Working Group (TWG) members for their work and contributions.

The Steering Committee acknowledges all the State and Territory Governments for funding the creation of the first national adventure activity standard and set of good practice guides for the sector.

Further details of the creation of the AAAS and GPG’s can be found at australianaas.org.au/about/history/

It is intended that the AAAS and GPG’s will be regularly updated to reflect changing practice and better understanding over time. Updates will be noted on the website www.australianaas.org.


1 Introduction

1.1 Enclosed and coastal waters paddle-craft

This Good Practice Guide (GPG) covers paddling a paddle-craft on waters that are either enclosed waters, coastal waters or open waters. It does not include paddling a paddle-craft on inland waters. The aim of the activity can vary and may include but not limited to for pleasure, challenge, experience, journeys and/or educational or other outcomes.

This GPG covers activities that are identified by three considerations:

  • activities involving dependent participants
  • the type of paddle-craft being paddled – this GPG relates to craft suitable for paddling the above waters
  • the type of body of water being paddled – this GPG relates to paddling enclosed waters, coastal waters or open waters.
1.2 Type of craft

Paddle-craft are a type of watercraft propelled and manoeuvred by the user(s).

The types of paddle-craft covered include:

  • sea kayaks which have a suitable design for paddling coastal waters and open waters and paddled with a double-bladed paddle
  • kayaks including enclosed sit in kayaks and sit on top kayaks
  • canoes
  • stand up paddleboards (SUPs)
  • other emerging paddle-craft with a similar design.

Paddle-craft that are not covered include:

  • “surf” related craft (e.g. surf boards, boogie boards, etc.)
  • sailing watercraft
  • motor propelled craft (e.g. motor boats, personal watercraft like jet ski, etc.).

A key feature of this type of paddle-craft is that participants generally operate a separate paddle-craft to that of the guide or instructor.

The type of paddle-craft being used may effect the hazards and risks involved and relevant safety requirements.

1.3 Type of body of water

The hazards and risks involved, relevant safety requirements and type of paddle-craft suitable may change depending on the body of water being paddled.

The three types of waters this GPG covers:

  • open waters (i.e. open sea)
  • coastal waters (i.e. waters off the coast out to number of nautical miles seaward) and
  • enclosed waters (e.g. coastal bays, harbours, declared coastal lakes, inlets, river seaward entrances etc.).

With dependent participants, paddling generally occurs on enclosed waters and/or coastal waters.

1.3.1 Enclosed waters

Enclosed waters are also known as partially smooth, semi­protected, intermediate and sheltered.

These waters include enclosed coastal bays, harbours, declared port waters and similar waters that are generally offer some form of limited protection from the environment or weather. Enclosed waters can be the interface between inland waters and/or coastal waters. The relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation will generally declare what areas are considered enclosed waters. Refer to the relevant marine safety agency for details.

For the purposes of using this document, enclosed waters are considered:

  • any marine safety agency declared enclosed waters, partially smooth, semi-protected, intermediate and sheltered
  • declared coastal lakes, as well as salt water inlets, enclosed coastal bays, harbours and declared port waters
  • rivers inside the seaward entrance up to the point at which the water is no longer affected by tides to the extend it changes the activity hazards and risks.

Enclosed waters are generally the interface between coastal waters and/or inland waters.

In using this document, it is important to understanding the difference between enclosed waters and inland waters. The difference between enclosed waters and inland waters generally corresponds with specific requirements for safety equipment and other safety measures due to the different environmental conditions, required by the relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation.

(Also see 1.4 Important considerations below.)

1.3.2 Coastal waters

Coastal waters (also known as open waters, unprotected or beyond enclosed waters): All waters other than inland waters or enclosed waters, and extending a specific number of nautical miles seaward. Jurisdictions define the coastal waters number of nautical miles seaward differently but generally this is between 2 and 3 nautical miles. Refer to the relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation for details.

1.3.3 Open waters

Open waters: All waters that are not coastal waters, enclosed waters or inland waters.

1.3.4 Inland waters

Inland water is also known as smooth waters, protected waters or inland waterways.

These waters include rivers (inside the seaward entrance), creeks, canals, lakes, reservoirs and any similar waters either naturally formed or man­made and which are either publicly or privately owned, but does not include any navigable rivers, creeks or streams within declared port waters. Refer to the relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation for details of declared port waters and declared inland waters.

For the purposes of using this document, inland water(s) is used to identify:

  • any marine safety authority declared inland waters, smooth waters, protected waters or inland waterways
  • any inland waters (as defined by the definition provided above) but excluding waterways at the point at which the water current becomes affected by tides to the extend it changes the activity hazards and risks.

(Also see 1.4 Important considerations below.)

Inland water can be flat-water or white-water.

Flat-water is any body of water or waterway that is not white-water. The same waterway can have sections of flat-water and white-water.

White-water is a section of a waterway where the water current or tidal movement is sufficient to create hydrological feature(s) such as, but not limited to rapids, eddies, waves, whirlpools etc.

1.3.5 Marine safety terminology

See Marine safety terminology summary for waters throughout Australia in Appendix A5.

1.3.6 Wave zones

Wave zones involves water conditions where waves are breaking (i.e. a surf zone) or surging.

At times paddle-craft may transit through or operate in or near wave zones.

This GPG is not intended to address surf situations involving:

  • surf related paddle-craft (e.g. surf boards, boogie boards etc.)
  • activities that are primarily “surf” related (e.g. surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing etc.).
1.4 Important considerations

There may be ambiguity as to if this Good Practice Guide and/or another activity Good Practice Guide (e.g. inland water paddle-craft) is suitable for:

  • a particular type, style or design of paddle-craft (e.g. new designs that are emerging etc.)
  • the type of body of water the activity being operated on (i.e. the interface areas between inland water and enclosed water is unclear)
  • situations where the activity operates in both inland water and enclosed water at different times.

An appropriate assessment of the paddle-craft, body of water and activity context needs to be completed to determine the appropriate activity Good Practice Guide or standards that apply.

Where there is no suitable activity Good Practice Guide or standard, an appropriate risk management plan needs to be completed to address the hazards and risks associated with but not limited to the paddle-craft, the body of water, the activity type and the activity context. The paddle-craft needs the be confirmed as being a suitable design and manufactured for the context of the activity it is being used. The Core GPG and any closely related activity GPG(s) may assist in developing such a risk management plan.

1.5 Exclusions summary

Activities that are not covered by this Good Practice Guide are:

  • water bodies:
    • paddling on waters that are in inland waters (Refer the Inland Water Paddle-craft GPG)
  • paddle-craft:
    • use of surf related paddle-craft (e.g. surf boards, boogie boards etc.)
    • sailing watercraft
    • motor propelled craft (e.g. motor boats, personal watercraft like jet ski, etc.)
  • activities:
    • involving swimming without a paddle-craft
    • that are primarily “surf” related (e.g. surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing etc.)
    • involving competitive events including adventure races
    • associated with “camping” (e.g. tent sites, cooking, etc.) while on overnight or extended paddling activities (Refer the Camping GPG).
1.6 Related activities

Directly related activities are:

  • camping when undertaking overnight or extended paddle activities (Refer the Camping GPG)
  • inland waters paddling (Refer Inland Water Paddle-craft GPG).

Other activities that may occur with paddling that have good practice guides include:

  • angling (Refer the Angling GPG)
  • snorkelling (Refer the Snorkelling GPG).

2 Management of risk

Refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Management of risk. There are no additional specific activity provisions other than the Management of Risk provisions in the Core GPG.


3 Planning

3.1 Activity planning

The marine safety agency, land owner and/or land manager law(s), regulation(s) and/or requirements must be determined and complied with.

Activity planning considerations may include but are not limited to:

  • water body hazards and risks
  • likelihood and consequences of changing water levels
  • possible changes to any natural formations which may have an effect on hazards or risks
  • participant considerations (see section 4 Participants)
  • activity objective(s)
  • the supervision required
  • paddle-craft type
  • other associated equipment required
  • personal protective equipment necessary
  • possible interactions with marine wildlife
  • land manager and marine safety agency regulation and requirements
  • any other relevant considerations listed in this document and in the Core GPG.

Activity plans should include:

  • appropriately detailed maps and/or charts of the area
  • preferred routes and contingency routes
  • routes to avoid
  • standard operating procedures for managing hazards
  • an emergency management plan
  • a risk assessment and management plan
  • environmental trigger points and standard operating procedures for when they occur (See 5.7 Weather and conditions trigger points).

Activity plans must establish the trigger points for relevant types of activities and paddle-craft for:

  • maximum wind strength
  • wind direction
  • currents
  • tides
  • wave and swell heights
  • marine life encounters (e.g. sharks, jelly fish, whales)
  • visibility.
3.2 Emergency management planning

Emergency management plan requirements must be based on the outcome of the risk management plan.

Considerations when developing emergency management plans may include but is not limited to:

  • types of emergencies the risk assessment plan identifies
  • remoteness of the activity
  • ease of access or egress during activity (e.g. high cliffs)
  • the ability of the activity leaders and/or the paddle-craft to be used as an effective rescue platform (e.g. would the paddle-craft used enable a rescue in high winds etc.)
  • the practicality of carrying extensive first aid equipment (e.g. remote first aid supplies, oxygen, AEDs etc.)

A non­participating contact must be used as part of the emergency management plan.

An activity intentions plan must be:

  • provided in accordance with any land manager or marine safety agency requirement
  • provided to the non­participating contact along with any relevant information needed.

The use of relevant rescue systems and procedures must be practiced periodically.

Considerations for rescue scenario training may include expected and foreseeable rescue scenarios for the type of water body, paddle-craft and conditions.

Where there is only one activity leader, the emergency management plan must have arrangements that allow participants an adequate and appropriate communication system if the leader becomes incapacitated.

Also refer to the Core GPG.

3.3 Reporting notifiable incidents

The land manager or marine safety agency may have incident reporting requirements.

A reportable incident must be reported to all relevant authorities in the jurisdiction it occurred, in accordance with the requirements for the jurisdiction.

Reportable incidents may include but is not limited to:

  • a death of, or major injury to, a person associated with the operation or navigation of a paddle-craft
  • the loss (e.g. blown out to sea) or presumed loss of a paddle-craft including it sinking
  • collisions with other water users
  • when help is required from other water users and/or rescue agencies
  • environmental issues.

Also refer to the Core GPG.


4 Participants

4.1 Participant considerations

Participant considerations should include:

  • participant considerations in the Core GPG – Participants section
  • general health and mobility
  • age
  • comfort with water environments
  • participant ability to swim
  • participant previous activity experience.
4.2 Information provided pre-activity

Participant pre-activity information should communicate:

  • information as detailed in the Core GPG – Information provided pre-activity
  • possible aquatic hazards and risks
  • participant provided clothing and footwear requirements.

5 Environment

5.1 Environment considerations

Environmental considerations may include but is not limited to:

  • the type and features of the water body used for the activity
  • hazards present or likely to be present
  • weather conditions (see 5.2.1 Weather conditions) including but not limited to wind strength, direction and the fetch associated with the activity location
  • water conditions (see 5.2.2) and/or wave conditions (see 5.2.3) including but not limited to:
    • swell and sea conditions
    • tide, tide variances and current affects
  • other water users
  • water body navigational requirements
  • marine safety agency laws or regulations
  • the effect of falling out of or off the paddle-craft
  • the effect of getting wet during the activity
  • climate and weather
  • the effect of flora
  • the fauna expected
  • culturally significant sites
  • effect on terrestrial and marine environments.
5.2 Paddling conditions

The interaction between and the effect of land features, weather, water and/or wave conditions must be considered.

Unless otherwise indicated, provisions related to weather and water conditions relate to conditions that will be experienced by the paddlers.

5.2.1 Weather conditions

Weather conditions considerations may include:

  • wind strength
  • wind direction
  • fetch
  • temperature
  • rain
  • lightning
  • visibility (e.g. fog, rain, poor light)

5.2.2 Water conditions

Water conditions may include:

  • swell and/or sea (e.g. waves: wind, tidal, long, reflected, tsunami and breaking waves)
  • tides, tide variances and slack water periods
  • currents (e.g. tides, rips, eddies, overflows and sweep, outlet, channel and structural currents)
  • water temperature and affect
  • water depth (e.g. will waves break, reef depth, conditions based on tide such as ocean bars etc.)
  • water quality.

5.2.3 Wave conditions

Wave conditions may include:

  • wave height
  • swell/wave period
  • breaking wave type (plunging or spilling)
  • location of a wave zone or surf zone in relation to activity.

5.2.4 Water quality

Areas where the water is polluted or contaminated and may pose a risk to human health should be avoided.

Polluted or contaminated water may include water effected by:

  • floating debris
  • chemicals
  • rubbish
  • sewage
  • upstream runoff (e.g. urban runoff such as oil from roads, industrial operations, etc.)
  • animal waste or carcases
  • waterborne microorganisms (e.g. E.Coli, Gardia, blue-green algae, Cholera, Hepatitis, etc.).

5.2.5 Land features

Land features may include:

  • proximity to obstacles (e.g. reef, rocks, sea wall, etc.)
  • terrain that effects the ability to return to shore (e.g. cliffs)
  • terrain that effects the fetch.

5.2.6 More difficult conditions

For the purposes of this GPG, “more difficult conditions” may include:

  • areas of exposed coastline with overfalls, tidal races, currents, difficult landings, or open crossings
  • open crossings with wind speeds above 10 knots (moderate breeze or above on the Beaufort Scale)
  • seas over 1.0 metre
  • surf over 1.0 metres
  • distances beyond 4 nautical miles from the nearest shore.
5.3 Weather and water conditions information

5.3.1 Weather information

Appropriate sources must be used for:

  • current and forecast weather
  • current and forecast weather warnings
  • current and forecast water conditions.

Also see Beaufort Wind Force Scale in Appendix A1 and Weather information in Appendix A4.

5.3.2 Wind gusts and wind speed forecasts

Planning and procedures must take into account that wind gusts are typically higher than average forecast wind speed.

Wind gusts are typically 40% higher than the average wind speed listed in forecasts. Refer Appendix A4 for additional detail.

5.3.3 Water conditions information

Sources of water conditions information to assess the suitability of the water body for the activity should include but is not limited to:

  • the Bureau of Meteorology relevant information
  • local information sources (e.g. marine safety authorities, local organisations etc.)
  • inspection of the site.
5.4 Environmental hazards risk management planning

Environment hazards that must be addressed in the risk management plan include:

  • immersion in the water causing drowning and/or exposure
  • entrapment in or under paddle-craft
  • wind strength
  • wind direction
  • tides
  • currents
  • waves, swell and/or seas
  • land features (e.g. cliffs, reef, rocks, ocean bars)
  • sunlight exposure
  • other watercraft and users (e.g. ships, motorised & sailing vessels, personal watercraft, kite surfers, divers, snorkellers, etc.)
  • floating objects (e.g. fishing nets, shark nets, oil slicks, etc.)
  • walking surface for entry, exist or moving about out of the paddle-craft
  • water and environment temperature
  • water contamination
  • creatures that pose a hazard
  • seasonal area users (e.g. whales).
5.5 Marine safety and land manager or owner requirements

Also refer to Land Owner and/or Manger in the Core GPG.

Procedures must be used to determine and comply with all relevant marine safety agency and land manager requirements.

Land managers may include:

  • a national marine safety agency
  • marine safety agencies in the jurisdiction of operation
  • harbour masters in port jurisdictions
  • marine authorities
  • marine national parks authorities
  • marine sanctuary authorities
  • local waterway managers.

Procedures should be used to determine and comply with any traditional owner and cultural heritage requirements. (Refer Core GPG.)

5.6 Marine navigation requirements

Relevant requirements must be complied with where indicated by:

  • buoyage systems (i.e. lateral, cardinal, isolated danger, special and safe water marks)
  • zone signage (i.e. buoys and beacons)
  • navigation signals (i.e. navigation lights, dayshapes, code flags and whistle signals).

Where interaction occurs with other watercraft the required relevant ‘steering and sailing rules’ must be complied with.

5.7 Weather and conditions trigger points

The risk management plan and emergency management plan must include guidance on trigger points and associated actions for:

  • wind strength
  • wind direction and
  • relevant water conditions (e.g. waves, swell, tides, currents, ocean bars).

The risk management plan and emergency management plan should include guidance on trigger points and associated actions for:

  • trigger points listed above
  • extreme cold temperature
  • extreme hot temperatures
  • hazardous surf warnings
  • lightning
  • marine wind warnings
  • ocean wind warnings
  • severe weather warnings
  • thunderstorm warnings
  • tropical cyclone advice: watch and warning
  • tsunami: watch and warning.

Any weather-related trigger points must be based on the relevant Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and information, as well as actual weather conditions.

Actions for the possible trigger points may include but is not limited to:

  • cancellation of activity
  • modification of activity
  • moving to areas that are protected from strong winds
  • moving to areas that are protected from hail
  • preparations to avoid the risks associated with lightning
  • evacuating to a safe location.
5.8 Lightning

Whilst thunder is audible groups should avoid:

  • being on the water
  • handling paddles or metallic equipment (e.g. paddles with metal shafts, etc.).

When thunder is audible, a suitable location should be sought, to wait out the thunderstorm.

Considerations for locations to wait out the thunderstorm both on and off the water should include but not limited to avoiding:

  • being on the water
  • being on the highest ground in the area
  • tall trees or structures that may act like a lightning rod
  • water saturated ground near watercourse’s
  • caves
  • locations where group is unable to spread out.
5.9 Bushfire, prescribed fire and fire danger

Refer the Core GPG – Bush fire, prescribed fire and fire danger.

5.10 Wildlife safety

Procedures should be in place to minimise the risks associated with wildlife that may be encountered.

The types of wildlife encounters that may need to be considered include but is not limited to:

  • crocodiles
  • dolphins
  • jellyfish
  • sea lions
  • seals
  • sharks
  • snakes
  • venomous creatures (e.g. Blue Ringed Octopus, Sea Snakes, Lionfish, Stonefish, Sea Urchins, Cone Shells, Stingrays, Jellyfish, Hydroids & Stinging Corals, etc.)
  • whales
  • other relevant local aquatic animals.

Also refer following sections 5.11 Observing marine animals and 5.12 Environmental sustainability procedures.

5.11 Observing marine animals

Marine safety agency and regional land manager marine animal requirements must be complied with (e.g. water body, marine national park or marine sanctuary).

Procedures relating to marine animals may include but is not limited to:

  • keeping a specific distance away
  • maintaining a constant speed
  • keeping a constant direction and avoiding sudden direction changes
  • not approaching head on
  • not separating individuals from their group
  • not coming between a mother and their young
  • avoiding birthing areas
  • abiding by local area closures (e.g. during breeding season).
5.12 Environmental sustainability procedures

The procedures may include but are not limited to procedures listed in the Core GPG – Appendix J: Environmental sustainability and the following:

5.12.1 Travel and camp on durable surfaces

Travelling in an area on durable surfaces may include but is not limited to:

  • use recognised access (put in), egress (take out) and rest locations
  • put in and take out wherever possible from areas with a durable surface
  • use a system to tie up paddle-craft that avoids damage to the bank or vegetation
  • carrying paddle-craft wherever possible rather than dragging them.

5.12.2 Dispose of waste properly

Dispose of waste properly may include but is not limited to:

  • planning for human waste management for the specific location
  • carry out food and general waste
  • carry out human waste and personal hygiene waste
  • appropriately securing items so they are not lost overboard
  • advise landowners or managers where waste problems exist.

5.12.3 Leave what you find

Leave what you find may include but is not limited to:

  • avoiding introducing or transporting non-native species of flora, fauna and/or pathogens (e.g. before changing waterways: emptying water, cleaning paddle-craft and equipment, following land manager requirements or recommendations etc.).

5.12.4 Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors

Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors may include but is not limited to:

  • when accessing waterways use gates in preference to climbing over a fence
  • leave gates as you find them
  • being time efficient when using high use access (put in) and egress (take out) (e.g. boat ramps)
  • determining and adhering to land managers or owners requirements
  • leave vehicles and trailers in locations that allows others appropriate access (put in) and egress (take out).

5.12.5 Respect wildlife

See 5.10 Observing marine animals above.

See Core GPG – Appendix J: Environmental sustainability.

5.12.6 Plan ahead and prepare

Plan ahead and prepare may include but is not limited to:

  • understanding the ecology of the area in order to implement and explain minimal impact practices.

5.12.7 Minimise impact of fire

See Core GPG – Appendix J: Environmental sustainability and Camping GPG.


6 Equipment and logistics

6.1 Equipment requirements

6.1.1 Personal attire

Procedures must be in place to ensure appropriate clothing and personal thermal protection is available and fit for purpose for the expected and foreseeable weather conditions.

Clothing should be of a colour that makes it easily visible for other water users or rescue services.

Procedures must be in place to ensure reasonable and appropriate sun safety measures are taken.

Procedures must be in place to ensure appropriate footwear that is fit for purpose for the expected and foreseeable terrain is used.

Footwear considerations may include:

  • the type of waterway
  • the type of paddle-craft
  • the weight of the footwear should the wearer become immersed
  • the appropriateness of the means of securing the footwear to the foot
  • the possibility of the surf or current dislodging the footwear.

Prescription spectacles and sunglasses if worn should be secured with a suitable restraint.

6.1.2 Helmets

Where used, helmets must be appropriate for the paddling activity.

Considerations for helmets for paddling activities must include:

  • water appropriately drains from the helmet
  • it provides suitable protection from impacts.

6.1.3 Activity equipment

Any marine safety agency, land owner and/or land manager law(s), regulation(s) and/or requirements must be complied with for:

  • paddle-craft design
  • lifejackets
  • rescue equipment
  • a suitable bailing device, if required for the paddle-craft design.

Equipment must be manufactured for use in the context of the activity:

  • paddle-craft
  • lifejackets
  • helmets
  • rescue equipment.

An appropriate design standard for equipment must be used where one is available.

Refer details of standards that may be relevant in Appendix A2.

6.1.4 Paddle-craft

The type of paddle-craft used must be appropriate for use in the context of the activity.

Considerations for paddle-craft should include but is not limited to:

  • the design is appropriate to the context of the activity
  • possess the strength to withstand all foreseeable forces
  • does not impede exit in the event of capsize
  • means of exit is suited to the paddler’s capabilities
  • where appropriate has a means of bailing water
  • has appropriate buoyancy aids installed where necessary
  • does not sink, remains horizontal when swamped and remains suitable as buoyancy for its crew
  • capable of being towed by rope and grasped by hand
  • fitted with appropriate end loops or toggles that do not form entrapment hazards
  • any grab or outside lines (also known as a deck line) are appropriate, suitably attached, have a diameter of no less than 6mm and do not form entrapment hazards
  • any lines can be appropriately stowed to prevent them becoming an entrapment hazard
  • the stability of the craft is suited to the paddler’s capabilities
  • the material or finish does not cause injury
  • where necessary, has a means to be secured to prevent floating away
  • where necessary are fitted with appropriate footrests
  • where integral to the design, has the appropriate fittings (e.g. covers, plugs or hatch covers)
  • preferably of a colour that is clearly visible to other water users or rescue authorities
  • an appropriate means of preventing water entering the cockpit (e.g. spray decks)
  • if a suitable rudder or retractable fin is required to assist directional control
  • stand up paddleboards (SUPs) having a means of attaching the paddler via a leg leash to the craft to prevent separation from the craft
  • a means of attaching the paddle via a leash to the craft to prevent loss of the paddle
  • have the appropriate navigation light(s) when required.

Where a means of bailing water out of the paddle-craft is required to remove water, a suitable means of bailing must be provided to each individual paddle-craft.

6.1.5 Paddles

The type of paddle used must be appropriate for use in the context of the activity.

All paddles must float.

Consideration should be given to if a means of attaching the paddle via a leash to the craft is required to prevent loss of the paddle.

A spare paddle must be carried where required by the marine safety agency in the jurisdiction of operation.

When a spare paddle is not mandatory, a spare paddle should be carried.

6.1.6 Life jackets

The type of life jacket used must be appropriate for use in the context of the activity.

The buoyancy provided by life jackets must be suitable for the environment they are used in.

Inflatable lifejacket designs (i.e. automatic or manual inflating lifejackets) should NOT be used with paddle-craft. (See Appendix A2.2).

Refer details of life jacket standards in Appendix A2.

6.1.7 Rescue equipment

The rescue equipment to be available to activity leaders must be appropriate for use in the context of the activity.

Rescue equipment each activity leader must have readily available for use includes:

  • a whistle appropriate for water environments
  • a suitable means of cutting rope
  • an appropriate releasable means of towing a paddle-craft (e.g. 15m of floating rope with a quick release system)
  • a stirrup to assist paddlers back into the paddle-craft
  • a paddle float except where the paddle-craft are stand up paddleboards (SUPs).

The marine safety agency in the jurisdiction of operation required safety equipment must be carried.

Marine safety agency required safety equipment may include:

  • waterproof buoyant torch
  • hand held orange smoke signals
  • hand held red distress flares
  • approved EPIRB or where permitted a PLB.

An appropriate means of communication must be carried.

Refer to a list of equipment to consider in Appendix A3.

6.1.8 Navigation equipment

The type of navigational equipment and aids must be appropriate for use in the context of the activity.

A compass must be carried where required by the marine safety agency in the jurisdiction of operation.

Refer to a list of equipment to consider in Appendix A3.

6.1.9 Other equipment

Carrying appropriate extra clothing or personal thermal protection must be considered.

Consideration for carrying extra clothing or personal thermal protection may include:

  • the participants involved
  • the paddling conditions
  • the duration of the activity.

Refer to a list of equipment to consider in Appendix A3.

6.2 Use of equipment

6.2.1 General

Prior to use of equipment, all relevant people must receive appropriate training and advised of any relevant manufacturers instructions or limitations.

All equipment must be checked for serviceability prior to its use.

Safety equipment with expiry dates (e.g. EPIRP, PLB, flares, etc.) must be check that they remain serviceable prior to the activity.

Procedures must be used so that relevant provided equipment is hygienic.

Provided equipment that may require hygiene procedures includes but is not limited to:

  • wetsuits
  • footwear
  • hats and/or helmets
  • other personal attire.

6.2.2 Headwear

Hats or helmets should be worn while on the water.

Helmets should be worn while paddling in or out through surf and while paddling around rocks or reefs.

Helmets should be considered when playing on-water games (e.g. canoe polo, tag games).

6.2.3 Paddle-craft

Paddle-craft must be checked for serviceability before use.

6.2.3.1 Stand up paddleboards leg leash

Paddlers of stand up paddleboards (SUPs) must be attached via a leg leash to the craft unless a risk assessment indicates otherwise (e.g. risk is too high in surf).

6.2.4 Paddles

Paddles must be checked for serviceability before use.

All paddles should be a suitable size for the person.

6.2.5 Life jackets

Life jackets used must be:

  • the correct size for the person
  • adjusted and used correctly.

Life jackets must be worn at all appropriate times during the activity.

6.2.6 Rescue equipment

Appropriate rescue equipment must be readily available for use.

6.3 Maintenance of equipment

Equipment and inspection records must conform with any law or regulation requirements.

The harshness of the environment must be considered in developing procedures relating to equipment maintenance and serviceability.

All equipment should be inspected periodically that it is serviceable.

Personal equipment (e.g. personal thermal protection, wetsuits, hats etc.) should be hygienically cleaned after use.

It is recommended that relevant equipment should be individually identifiable to assist manage equipment maintenance and serviceability.

A retirement of equipment procedure should be developed.

Considerations for a retirement of equipment procedure may include but is not limited to:

  • type of use
  • frequency of use
  • prevailing conditions when used
  • actual deterioration, wear and tear
  • extreme usage events or patterns
  • age
  • years in service
  • manufacturers recommendations.
6.4 Storage of equipment

Activity equipment should be stored in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations or instructions.

Considerations for storage of equipment may include but is not limited to:

  • equipment is clean and dry
  • the storage is free from harmful chemicals
  • the storage is free from damp conditions
  • the storage is free from environmental exposure including Ultraviolet (UV) light
  • and avoids extremes of temperature
  • the storage is free from interference of fauna or vermin.


7 Leadership

7.1 Naming conventions

The activity leader naming convention enables this activity GPG leadership requirements to be related to Core GPG requirements.

The leadership naming conventions for this GPG are:

  • paddling guide and paddling instructor which is the equivalent to Leader in Core GPG
  • activity leader as the collective noun to describe paddling guides and/or instructors.

It is important to clarify specific roles and competencies required to avoid the possibility of a “guide” leading a group when they require “instructor” competencies.

An “instructor” has the competence to instruct participants so that they may undertake the activity independently without supervision or with minimal supervision.

This differs from a “guide” and ‘general instruction’ that might be given to enable the participant to do the activity but only under direct supervision of an activity leader.

All activity leader competencies needed for a particular role must be clearly defined.

7.2 Competencies

7.2.1 Competencies overview

The AAAS and GPGs refers to units from the Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package for descriptive statements of the knowledge and skills required of activity leaders.

The Training Package units are used for the sole purpose of providing descriptions for the knowledge and skills required. It is not intended to imply or require that specific formal training, assessment or qualification is the only means of gaining or recognising knowledge and skills.

Providers can recognise activity leaders as having the ‘ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve expected results’ (i.e. competencies) in a number of different ways as detailed in the Core GPG – Recognition of competence.

The Training Package units listed can be found by searching for the units on the training.gov.au/Home/Tga website. The code provided with the unit name assists in this search.

7.2.2 Competencies

Also refer to the Core GPG – Competencies.

Appendix A9 outlines the recommended competencies activity leaders should have when leading paddle-craft activities.

Relevant rescue competencies must be practiced periodically.

7.2.3 Recognition pathways

Refer to considerations for recognition pathways outlined in Core GPG – Recognition pathways. Also refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Recognition of competencies.

7.3 Activity leader to participant ratios and group size

7.3.1 Supervision ratios and group size considerations

Considerations when determining the supervision ratio and group size must include:

  • the type of water body being paddled
  • water body conditions
  • access and egress conditions
  • weather conditions
  • visibility
  • if access and egress is through surf
  • ability of participants to reliably self-rescue or assisted rescue
  • the length and how committing the paddle is to reach a suitable egress location
  • participant swimming ability
  • the size of the paddle-craft
  • the design of the paddle-craft
  • the number of participants in each paddle-craft
  • the suitability of the paddle-craft for the type of activity and environment
  • the suitability of the paddle-craft for the participants
  • considerations for determining supervision requirements in the Core GPG.

7.3.2 Supervision ratios recommendations

Supervision must be based on an appropriate risk management assessment and considerations listed in the section above.

The following table outlines the recommended supervision that should be used.

Notes:

  • *= excludes guide/instructor craft
  • ^= Would only occur in training situations
  • # = “more difficult conditions” listed in section 5.2.6 More difficult conditions
  • Note 1 – Where there is only a single guide/instructor, the recommended ratio for 3-seater craft on enclosed water is – “up to 2 craft, up to 6 participants” – given the potential for a large number of participants in the water requiring assistance at the one time. Where there is more than one guide/instructor, the recommended ratio for each guide/instructor is as listed in the table i.e. “up to 4 craft, up to 12 participants per guide/instructor”
  • Note 2 – Guide/instructors operating greater than 1 NM from the coast should have “more difficult conditions” competencies
  • For considerations relating to minors refer to Core GPG regarding child safety and supervision requirements when related to responsible persons.
  • Where an activity requires movement through surf there must be a minimum of 2 activity leaders.

7.3.3 Stand Up paddleboards recommended supervision

The following table outlines the recommended supervision that should be used when stand up paddleboarding.

Notes:

  • *= excludes guide/instructor craft
  • For considerations relating to minors refer to Core GPG regarding child safety and supervision requirements when related to responsible persons.
7.4 Management during the activity

7.4.1 Management of activities

A procedure must be in place to ensure a hierarchical management system is used and activity leaders are allocated tasks as necessary. (For example, a trip leader is assigned and delegates tasks as appropriate.)

Procedures must ensure there is:

  • appropriate communication within the group
  • the ability to communicated to obtain external assistance in the event help is required.

A procedure must be in place to monitor the weather and water body conditions.

A procedure should be in place to monitor relevant weather forecasts and warnings.

Procedures must be used to limit the group becoming too spread out.

Appropriate access or egress points must be used.

Appropriate manual handling procedures must be used when handling heavy equipment.

Dynamic risk assessment(s) must be used to consider the following hazards and risks:

  • loose rope/tape or loops that could cause entanglement or entrapment
  • wind strength and direction that could affect the crafts performance
  • ongoing correct operation of the paddle-craft
  • loose items are properly stowed and secured.

7.4.2 Recommended water and weather conditions

7.4.2.1 Water and weather conditions

The interaction between and the effect of weather, water and/or surf conditions must be considered.

When winds are greater than 21 knots in the vicinity of the activity area the activity plan, risks and appropriateness of the activity must be reassessed.

Planning must take into account that wind gusts are typically higher than average forecast wind speed.

Activity operation recommendations for water and weather conditions that dependent participants are experiencing include:

  • winds should be less than 17 knots or 29 km/hr
  • seas should be less than 0.5 metres
  • access or egress should involve surf less than approximately 0.5 metre
  • access or egress should not involve plunging waves
  • crossing ocean bars should occur on an incoming tide
  • distance from a suitable egress should be less than 1.5 nautical miles or 2.78 km, unless it is enclosed waters when it should be less than 2 nautical miles or 3.7 km.

Where suitably competent participants are involved and/or other suitable risk management procedures are in place, activity operation recommendations for water and weather conditions may increase but should not exceed:

  • winds greater than 26 knots or 48 km/hr
  • seas greater than 1.0 metres
  • surf greater than 1.0 metre
  • distance from a suitable egress of 5 nautical miles or 9.26 km.

7.4.2.2 Offshore winds

Appropriate risk management and planning must be undertaken if winds are blowing offshore.

Risk management mitigation considerations if paddling in winds blowing offshore may include but is not limited to:

  • significant shelter that provides leeward protection from the wind
  • location ensures offshore winds would blow paddle-craft to a landmass with appropriate egress
  • the paddle-craft are appropriate for the conditions
  • the participants have been verified to be appropriately competent for the conditions
  • a competent safety boater is monitoring the activity with immediate access to an appropriate powered safety boat.

7.4.3 Night activities

Each paddle-craft must have an appropriate light.

Paddle-craft lighting must comply with relevant marine safety agency and/or land manager requirements.

7.4.4 Other vessels

When operating in areas with other vessels, the ‘give way rules’ must be observed.

7.4.5 Activity leader familiarity of the waterbody

The risk assessment must identify the activity leader familiarity with the water body requirements.

Considerations when identifying the activity leader familiarity with the water body requirements must include:

  • the type of site
  • local hazards and risks
  • the ability to use procedures to manage hazards
  • knowledge and ease of identifying access, egress and emergency access points throughout the activity
  • the potential for hazards and risks changing based on differing water and weather conditions
  • the ratio of activity guides with familiarity of the water body to activity guides who are not
  • the varying level of experience and competence of the activity leaders.

7.4.6 Activity leader experience

The experience of activity leader(s) should be confirmed as being suitable for the activity context.

7.4.7 Aquatic hazards

Considerations when assessing the aquatic hazards and risks must include:

  • ability of participants
  • wind speed and direction
  • the speed of currents and tides
  • swell, sea, and wave heights
  • wave type (i.e. plunging, spilling or surging)
  • the depth of the water, including being too shallow
  • the possibility of the occupants becoming separated from the craft
  • the effect of the craft taking on water
  • the techniques needed to remove water
  • the techniques needed for the occupants to re-enter the craft
  • the easy by which the occupants can re-enter the craft
  • the ability to locate activity leaders in a position to use rescue techniques
  • dangerous wildlife.

7.4.8 Activity briefing

Before undertaking an activity, the information and requirements to be communicated may include but are not limited to:

  • identifying all the activity leaders and their role
  • activity logistics (e.g. activity length, time etc.)
  • correct fitting of lifejackets
  • when lifejackets are to be worn
  • footwear requirements
  • storage of personal medication
  • securing glasses or sunglasses
  • relevant personal thermal protection requirements
  • sun protection
  • other essential equipment and clothing requirements
  • correct procedure(s) in the event of a capsize or falling out of or off the craft
  • suitable information and instruction on hazard avoidance including but not limited to:
    • ways to recognise hazards where appropriate
    • hazard avoidance techniques
    • rescue techniques including self-rescue
  • the correct handling and navigation of the craft
  • navigation requirements when interacting with other watercraft
  • relevant paddler communication within the craft
  • the group management process including but not limited to:
    • group conduct
    • spacing where relevant
    • launching and landing procedures
    • any designated lead and tail-end craft
    • actions in the case of an emergency
    • relevant communication between craft
    • methods and signals to communicate over longer distances or noisy environments
  • any relevant methods of waterproofing equipment
  • any requirements relating to associated activities such as swimming and/or diving, jumping, swinging or sliding into water
  • relevant other safety and communication equipment details.

7.4.9 Associated activities

Procedures should address the possibility of participants undertaking associated activities before, during or after the paddle-craft activity.

If associated activities (e.g. swimming, diving, swinging/sliding into water etc.) are allowed or provided by a provider, an appropriate risk management plan must be implemented.

7.4.10 Paddling through surf

Procedures while paddling in or out of surf must include:

  • ensuring helmets are worn
  • only one paddle-craft is on a wave at any one time
  • having a path designated for paddling out and paddling in
  • checking the location, terrain, water and wave type is suitable for the activity
  • operating where possible away from other water users
  • participants have the appropriate skills needed including but not limited to bracing, wet exiting and leaning/edging
  • consideration of the depth of the water where the waves break
  • establishing an appropriate timing for the entry into the surf
  • identifying and avoiding obstacles (e.g. rocks, reef, etc.)
  • have an appropriate system to help participants, including their equipment
  • ensuring participants are comfortable with undertaking this type of activity prior
  • appropriate supervision is provided to both those in the surf area and those that are not
  • determining activity management system communications
  • securing or stowing all equipment.

Also refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Recognition of competencies. [link]


Glossary

Glossary

Also refer to Terms and definitions in Core GPG.

Activity leader: collective noun to describe paddling “guides” and/or “instructors”.

Aeration: mixing of air and water to form bubbles and froth. The level of aeration of water effects the amount of buoyancy the water provides to a swimmer or watercraft. Paddling in white-water that involves higher levels of water aeration may indicate the need for wearing lifejackets with higher levels of buoyancy.

Beaufort Wind Force Scale (also referred to as the “Beaufort Scale”): a system for estimating wind strengths without the use of instruments, based on the effects wind has on the physical environment.

Breaking waves: swell that reaches shallower water and crests as the fast-moving back spills over the slower front. Breaking waves can be plunging or spilling. (Also see waves.) There is three types of breaking waves – plunging, spilling or surging waves.

Camping: the use of a temporary site for overnight camping.

Coastal Waters (Also known as open water, unprotected): All waters other than inland waters or enclosed waters and extending a specific number of nautical miles seaward. Refer to the relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation for details. (Jurisdictions define the coastal waters number of nautical miles seaward differently but generally this is between 2 and 3 nautical miles.)

Enclosed waters (also known as partially smooth, semi­protected, intermediate and sheltered): waters that include enclosed coastal bays, harbours, declared port waters and similar waters that are generally offer some form of limited protection from the environment or weather. Enclosed waters can be the interface between inland waters and/or coastal waters. The relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation will generally declare what areas are considered enclosed waters. Refer to the relevant marine safety agency for details.

Fetch: the length of water over which a given wind has blown. This effects the sea state.

Flash Flooding: is flooding in a localised area with a rapid onset.

Flat-water: a waterway or body of water that is not white-water.

Gusts: increases in wind speed lasting just a few seconds.

Inland waters (Also known as smooth waters, protected waters or inland waterways): waters that include rivers (inside the seaward entrance), creeks, canals, lakes, reservoirs and any similar waters either naturally formed or man­made and which are either publicly or privately owned, but does not include any navigable rivers, creeks or streams within declared port waters. Refer to the relevant marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of operation for details of declared port waters.

Knot(s): A measurement of speed used in nautical situations. One knot is one nautical mile per hour. (1 Knot = 1.852 Kilometres per hour.)

Land manager: the organisation or owner with jurisdiction over the waterway or water body the activity is conducted. Land manager may include marine authorities, marine national park or sanctuary authorities, harbourmasters etc. Note that is may differ from the marine safety agency. The requirements of both the land manager and the marine safety agency need to be considered.

Lifejacket: a worn device that provides the wearer with additional buoyancy in water. (Also known as Personal floatation device (PFD))

Marine safety agency: the statutory organisation that regulates the safety of watercraft and their operations, in the jurisdiction the activity is conducted.

More difficult conditions: Refer section 5.2.6 More difficult conditions.

Nautical Mile: a nautical mile (NM) is a unit of distance equal to 1,852 metres (1.852km).

Open crossings: a journey that is more than 4 NM in length with no chance of landing during the journey.

Open waters: All waters that are not coastal waters, inland waters or enclosed waters.

Paddle-craft: a type of watercraft propelled and manoeuvred by the user.

Personal floatation device (PFD): See lifejacket. (Note that in Australian, the Australian Standard AS4758.1:2015 no longer uses the term ‘PFD’).

Personal thermal protection: clothing worn to mitigate the effects of the temperature of the environment.

Rapid(s): part of a waterway where the geological features cause increased water speed, turbulence and/or other hydrological feature(s).

River hazard(s): a hazard created by a watercourse’s geology and flora, the water within it or a combination of both. Common river hazards include but is not limited to: level of aeration of the water, drops, entrapment points, fast flowing water, floating objects, undercut rocks, re­circulations, rapids, sieves, strainers, submerged objects etc.

Safety boat: a watercraft operated by a safety boater that has been specifically designated to providing safety coverage during an activity. For example, a safety kayaker using a white-water kayak providing on­river safety coverage during a raft trip, a rescue boat used to assist canoe activities on a lake etc.

Safety boater: an activity leader who has the additional skills, knowledge and experience necessary to provide safety support from a safety boat. (Refer safety boat for examples.)

Sea kayaking: involves paddling a paddle-craft on waters that are not inland waters. It includes the use of both sit in and sit on top paddle-craft.

Seas: the local conditions created by wind blowing on water and creating movement. (Seas are described by the Bureau of Meteorology as calm, smooth, slight, etc.)

Surf zone: an area that has breaking waves that are plunging or spilling. (Also see breaking waves, wave zone and waves.)

Swell: waves of energy travelling through water. Because swell can be generated far off the coast, these waves can come as a surprise since it could be sunny with little wind when they arrive. Swell is described by the Bureau of Meteorology in terms of its wave length, period and wave height. (Also see waves.)

Swell/Wave period: the average time between crests (or troughs) of swell or waves.

Trigger point: a particular circumstance or situation that causes an action to occur.

Waves: swell that reaches shallower water and peaks. Involves energy travelling through water created by intense weather systems that are higher, steeper and more chaotic than usual. (Also see swell.) There are three types of waves: plunging, spilling and surging waves. (Also see breaking waves.)

Wave zone: an area that has surging waves or breaking waves that are plunging or spilling. (Also see breaking waves, surf zone and waves.)

White-water: a section of a waterway where the water current or tidal movement is sufficient to create hydrological feature(s). Hydrological feature(s) may include but not limited to rapids, eddies, waves, whirlpools etc.

Also refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Glossary.


Appendices

Appendix A1 Beaufort wind force scale

The Beaufort Wind Force Scale (Beaufort Scale) is a system for estimating wind strengths without the use of instruments, based on the effects wind has on the physical environment.

Appendix A2 Equipment standards

Relevant equipment standards (or the equivalent) that must be considered:

A2.1 Lifejackets

The marine safety agency lifejacket standards or specifications for the jurisdiction of the activity must be complied with.

Considerations for lifejackets used for paddle-craft must include but is not limited to:

  • the appropriate type, features and level is used for the activity
  • provides sufficient additional buoyancy for the type of water environment
  • does not restrict essential movement or ability to exit the paddle-craft if required
  • the design allows the wearer to use the ‘white-water float position’ and swim both ‘offensively’ and ‘defensively’.

Lifejacket level 100+ (formerly known as Type 1)

Relevant standards for lifejacket level 100+ (formerly known as Type 1):

  • Australian Standard AS 4758.1:2015 Lifejackets General requirements
  • Any standard or specifications approved by the marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of the activity
  • Where approved by a “recognised appraiser” (see section A2.3 below):
    • International Standard ISO 12402-2 Personal flotation devices Part 2: Lifejackets, performance level 275 – Safety requirements
    • International Standard ISO 12402-3 Personal flotation devices Part 3: Lifejackets, performance level 150 – Safety requirements
    • International Standard ISO 12402-4 Personal flotation devices Part 4: Lifejackets, performance level 100 – Safety requirements
    • New Zealand Standards NZS 5823:2005 Specification for buoyancy aids and marine safety harnesses and lines

Lifejacket level 50 and 50S (formerly known as Type 2 and Type 3)

Relevant standards for lifejacket level 50 (formerly known as Type 2) and lifejacket level 50S (formerly known as Type 3):

  • Australian Standard AS 4758.1:2015 Lifejackets General requirements
  • Any standard or specifications approved by the marine safety agency for the jurisdiction of the activity
  • Where approved by a “recognised appraiser” (see section A2.3 below): International Standard ISO 12402-5 Personal flotation devices Part 5: Buoyancy aids (level 50) – Safety requirements

A2.2 Inflatable lifejackets

It is strongly recommended that inflatable lifejacket designs (i.e. automatic or manual inflating lifejackets) are NOT used with paddle-craft.

A2.3 Recognised appraiser

A “recognised appraiser” may include:

  • A certifying body accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS–ANZ), or
  • A laboratory with National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation, or
  • A notified body in accordance with the European Union Maritime Equipment Directive, Module B (MED–B), or
  • A body approved by marine safety agency.
Appendix A3 Equipment considerations

A3.1 Paddles

Considerations for all types of paddle-craft should include but is not limited to:

  • appropriate for the type of craft
  • appropriate to the build and skill levels of the participants
  • the paddle will float if lost overboard
  • where appropriate a suitable means of securing the paddle to prevent it floating away.

A3.2 Paddle-craft related

Additional paddle-craft equipment may include but is not limited to:

  • suitable device for bailing water and where necessary a backup device
  • suitable spare paddles
  • leg leash for stand up paddleboards (SUPs)
  • where appropriate a suitable means of securing craft to prevent it floating away
  • spray decks
  • paddle-craft waterproof navigation light(s) (e.g. all round white light, appropriate torch)
  • suitable pump for inflating craft if an inflatable paddle-craft
  • paddle float.

A3.3 Emergency response equipment

Emergency equipment must include but is not limited to:

  • appropriate rescue equipment (see 6.1.7 Rescue equipment section)
  • an appropriate communication device (see both the Core GPG – Equipment: Communications and A3.5 Communication equipment list below)
  • first aid kit (see the Core GPG – First aid equipment and medication) in waterproof storage
  • documentation (see the Core GPG – Emergency management planning and Activity leader required documentation)
  • a waterproof method of storing and carrying documentation and communications equipment.

Additional emergency equipment may include but is not limited to:

  • waterproof matches
  • fuel stove and associated equipment for heating water and/or food
  • shelter for injured person (e.g. small tent, bivvy bag, tarp or space blanket)
  • insulated mat
  • sleeping bag.

A3.4 Navigation equipment

Navigation equipment may include but is not limited to:

  • compass
  • GPS
  • appropriate maps and/or charts
  • spare batteries for GPS
  • paddle-craft navigation light(s)
  • anemometer
  • tide chart.

A3.5 Communication equipment

Communications equipment may include but is not limited to:

  • emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB)
  • flares in appropriate waterproof storage
  • mobile phone
  • personal locator beacon (PLB)
  • satellite phone/communicator
  • signalling mirror
  • sea emergency water dye
  • two-way radio (marine or UHF as appropriate)
  • waterproof light source (e.g. torch, strobe light, chemical light stick)
  • whistles appropriate to water environment on each lifejacket.

A3.6 Repair kit

Repair equipment may include but is not limited to:

  • duct tape
  • inflatable paddle-craft material repair kit
  • paddle repair kit
  • spare fittings (e.g. valve, plug or bung)
  • tools appropriate to assist repairs.

A3.7 Personal items

Personal items may include but is not limited to:

  • contact lens or glasses
  • drink bottle
  • lip balm
  • medication
  • personal hygiene products
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen.

A3.8 Clothing

Clothing may include but is not limited to:

  • appropriate footwear
  • personal thermal protection clothing (e.g. wetsuits, dry suits, thermal underwear, fleece, beanies etc.)
  • sun hats (e.g. legionnaire hat etc.)
  • helmets or helmets with sun visor
  • sun protection clothing (e.g. ‘rash’ shirts, long sleeve shirts, board shorts, long pants, etc.)
  • wind protection clothing (e.g. spray jacket, rain jacket etc.).

A3.9 Other

An appropriate supply of drinking water must be available.

Other items may include:

  • food related equipment (e.g. storage, preparation, cooking, serving and cleaning)
  • hygiene related equipment (e.g. hand wash system, etc.)
  • toileting and personal hygiene systems and products (e.g. toileting removal or disposal system, personal hygiene product removal or disposal system, etc.)
  • waste (e.g. rubbish, food waste, etc.) removal system
  • camping related equipment (refer Camping GPG).
Appendix A4 Weather information

A4.1 Wind strength forecast vs gust strengths

Wind is made up of gusts and lulls. The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts of wind speed and direction are the average of these gusts and lulls. The gusts are typically 40% higher than the average wind speed.

Based on gusts the rule of thumb that gusts are 40% higher than average windspeed, the table below shows the potential gust you could expect for different forecast average wind speeds and associated wind warning category.

See http://www.bom.gov.au/marine/knowledge-centre/reference/wind.shtml for full details.

A4.2 Weather warnings

The following table details the:

  • current Australian weather warnings
  • associated possible weather for each warning
  • mainland warning trigger points for issuing warnings for strong winds and hail.

Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and associated weather Table:

A4.3 Marine related wind warnings:

  • “Strong winds warning” For winds averaging from 26 knots up to 33 knots (48 km/hr to 61 km/hr)
  • “Gale warning” For winds averaging above 33 knots up to 47 knots (above 61 km/hr to 87 km/hr)
  • “Storm Force Wind Warning” Winds averaging above 47 knots and up to 63 knots (above 87 km/hr to 116 km/hr)
  • “Hurricane Force Wind Warning” Winds averaging above 63 knots or more (above 116 km/hr).

A4.4 Bureau of Meteorology information:

The Bureau of Meteorology also provides a range of services and information can be found at:

Appendix A5 Marine waters terminology

A5.1 Terminology used by jurisdiction

Marine safety bodies throughout Australia use a range of terms that define the type of water that paddle-craft might operate on. The following is a list of terminology (as at August 2017).

A5.2 Terminology used in this and other good practice guides

Terminology used in this GPG:

  • Coastal Waters (Also known as open water, unprotected)
  • Inland waters (Also known as smooth waters, protected waters or inland waterways)
  • Enclosed waters (also known as partially smooth, semi-protected, intermediate and sheltered.)
  • Open waters.

For discussion on terminology used in this GPG refer section 1.3 Type of body of water.

Appendix A6 Additional information

Sources of additional information may include:

  • Paddle Australia or their local state affiliate refer to https://paddle.org.au/
  • local marine safety bodies in the jurisdiction of operation.
Appendix A7 Leader competencies

A7.1 Kayaking (sit on and sit in kayaking)

To be read together with the Competencies overview and Competencies sections in Leadership above and the Competencies and Recognition of competence sections in Core GPG.

The following table outlines the recommended competencies activity leaders should have when leading sit on and sit in kayaking:

Notes:

  • All of the competencies listed are suitable for sit in and sit on top kayaks
  • *= These competencies are suitable for sit on top kayaks, subject to suitable adjustment to the competencies needed to suit the design (e.g. self-rescue by rolling would not be relevant to sit on top kayak activity leaders)
    • Activity leaders must be competent in use of the paddle-craft being used
    • While competence using a sit in kayak can be appropriate for leading groups with sit on top kayaks, the reverse is not the case
    • Activity leaders using sit in kayaks must be competent at rolling the kayak, which is not a competency for sit on top kayaks due to their design.
  • ^= Would only occur in training situations

# = “more difficult conditions” listed in section 5.2.6 More difficult conditions

  • Were a recreational boat operator licence is not a mandatory requirement, the benefit of activities leaders holding such a licence should be considered (e.g. ensuring understanding of steering and sailing rules, navigation markers etc.)
  • An “instructor” has the competence to instruct participants so that they may undertake the activity independently without supervision or with minimal supervision.

This differs from a “guide” and ‘general instruction’ that might be given to enable the participant to do the activity but only under direct supervision of an activity leader.

A7.2 Other types of paddle-craft

The paddle-craft used may not be a kayak.

If paddle-craft other a kayak are used, activity leaders must be competent:

  • in the use of the paddle-craft being used
  • in the required practices in guiding and/or instructing an activity using that type of paddle-craft
  • in operating in the environment and waterway being used
  • in appropriate rescue techniques for the paddle-craft and waterway environment.

The competencies for activity leaders described above should be used in considering the appropriate competencies needed.

(Note: At the time of developing this GPG there were no publicly available stand up paddleboarding competencies to reference. These are currently under development and will be available via the training.gov.au website in due course.)