All watersports and outdoor activities have risks involved. Kayaking is no different.
Ocean kayaking is the most dangerous out of all types of kayaking because of the vast lengths of the ocean and the endless possibilities out there. You can be injured or die from sharks, weather, cold, other boats, and currents.
If you are pro in kayaking now and you want to do sea kayaking, there is some extra care that you need to do for that, bring the following things beside the basic kit:
- waterproof torch that floats
- cell phone and gps
- marine radio
- bilge pump and bailing device
- distress signal devices such as orange smoke sticks, red flares, parachute distress rocket or dye markers
- spare paddle
Sharks are a major threat when it comes to ocean kayaking. Kayakers get too adventurous and venture out farther and farther because it is tempting to go deeper and deeper into the ocean.
This is because kayaks are smaller and they can access areas that people usually can not see if they are not using kayaks and are in bigger boats or ships. These remote and normally inaccessible areas are usually full of all kinds of marine life, harmless and harmful, as they are not accessed by people often.
Some of the deadly creatures that might be lurking there are sharks. You do not want to encounter one of these on your kayaking trips as it may prove to be a fatal accident and can even take your life. Bull sharks are found in shallow waters usually while others may be found deeper.
Do your research before setting out on an ocean kayaking trip and know the area to find out whether any sea predators would be present there.
In ocean kayaking, the weather is one of the most dangerous and unpredictable factors. One minute it is sunny and the next minute you might be hearing thunder. To get caught in a storm while ocean kayaking is a rather terrible and dangerous thing to happen.
If you have paddled too far into the ocean and are in deep waters, chances are that shore is nowhere nearby. With land being so far away, if a storm occurs the lightning, high winds, and rain can cause all kinds of accidents. Your craft can turn over and you may fall in the water having to swim for hours in order to find land, in case you can not get back up on your craft. You do not want to be hit by a bolt of lightning as that might kill you. Lightning hits the highest objects so use low angle stroke and put your head down..
Capsizing is another danger of ocean kayaking as it might lead to hypothermia. Wind and rough waters can cause your kayak to capsize. Not having the rescue equipment or any company with you in case of such an emergency can prove to be life-threatening.
If you get submerged in cold water after capsizing and your body is exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time you might get hypothermia. Hypothermia can also be caused if the air is cold and you are paddling and are not properly dressed. Other factors leading to hypothermia are seasickness, getting extremely tires, or getting lost.
A kayak is quite small so when ocean kayaking you have to watch out for other larger boats or ships because you do not want a collision. Bigger boats and ships are usually very fast and they might not even spot your kayak. Therefore, it is better to stay close together in the form of groups so that larger crafts may notice you. Choose a kayak with bright colors and wear a bright life jacket and hat. This will make you visible. Waving a paddle with bright yellow, orange, and red paddle blades up and down will be easiest to notice.
Currents are very dangerous and can carry you far away from where you started paddling. They can be very challenging for kayakers. Overcome them by staying calm and paddling perpendicular to the current.
The reasons to start kayaking are endless. But safety comes first, Make sure you do your research, have all the necessary gear and equipment, and know the area before you set out. Its best to take all the measures necessary to have a safe and enjoyable kayaking trip.