CANI’s current recommendations for Paddlesport Activity

CANI’s current recommendations for Paddlesport Activity, inline with the NI Executive’s current recommendations. (Wednesday 20th May 2020)

CANI recognise that these are challenging times for us all and our first priority is the safety and health of everyone, as we do our level best to stop the spread of the virus. We really appreciate the level of creativity and innovation shown by many within our community to keep people connected at this time. We are confident that we will emerge from this an even stronger community of paddlers.

Please take care to follow Northern Ireland specific guidance from the Executive and from CANI for paddlesport as other regions have different phases. 

CANI has taken guidance from NI Executive, Sport NI, British Canoeing and other National Associations to keep things as simple as possible to understand and safe for all.

The overall message is still the same, stay home, stay safe and do not risk putting a burden on the emergency services.

At present CANI recommends that the following steps are followed for paddlesport.

  • Up to 6 competent, independent paddlers with their own equipment, who can individually self-rescue, can go paddling for their daily exercise, staying within their capability, maintaining social distancing, public hygiene measures and not contacting any shared, hard surfaces.
  • A safety framework should be put in place whilst on the water.
    • Paddle only were no rescues are likely to be needed and self rescue will be sufficient, peer / contact rescues break social distancing.
    • Consideration should be given to the weather and water conditions and that both are well within your capabilities.
    • Tell someone where you are going and how long for – as well as letting them know when you’re off the water.
    • Only experienced and competent paddlers should be on the water independently.
  • No club activity, independent paddling for exercise only at this time.
  • Do not share kit or equipment, you must be able to move your kit independently without help
  • Only people from the same household can paddle crew boats, e.g. tandem sea kayaks and open canoes.
  • Activity must respect local restrictions. (See below for links to Waterways Ireland and the Coast Guard).
  • Public transport should not be used.
  • Only share transport with members of your household (e.g. no shuttles with others).
  • There is no limit to travel but use common sense and do what is reasonable, CANI advise to remain local, avoid popular spots and places where you have to touch shared surfaces, lock gates, etc
  • Public toilets and changing rooms should not be used.

With all government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to act responsibly to fight the spread of Coronavirus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, CANI believe this is the most responsible, and only, course of action we can take at this moment.

CANI fully appreciate the effect that this recommendation will have on the paddlesport community, particularly for clubs, centres, coaches, providers and retailers whose businesses will be greatly affected by the  measures updated by the government.

Coastal Paddling 

CANI are pleased to share the latest Water Safety Message – Northern Ireland from HM Coastguard.

HM Coastguard

Water Safety Message – Northern Ireland 

Following the most recent announcements by the executive in Northern Ireland it is expected that significant numbers of people will now want to take to the water, HM Coastguard is asking everyone to take extra care in extraordinary times.

But while people are allowed to undertake outdoor activity, they need to make sure they are safe and protected. Those with private boats and yachts should carry out all the usual safety checks and make sure they have a way to contact HM Coastguard if they get into difficulty, as should everyone visiting the coast and beaches. 

In addition, the Government guidelines around social distancing should continue to be observed by everyone in the UK. 

The majority of beaches will not be lifeguarded. If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid.

CANI recommends to follow our guidelines above for paddlesport, plus the additional points below for coastal paddling.

  • Have an appropriate passage paddling trip plan in place
  • Notify the Coast Guard of your passage plan and have a shore contact in place
  • Having a means of on the water communication with the Coast Guard and your shore contact
  • Carry sea kayak specific safety equipment as appropriate
  • Notify the Coast Guard and your shore contact when you are off the water

A reminder to paddle well within your capability, maintain social distancing and public hygiene procedures. 

Please see the safety pack linked below from the RNLI.

RNLI sea kayak safety pack 

Waterways Ireland

Please click here for current advice regarding the waterways of Waterway Ireland.

Centres, Providers and Course Delivers

Centres, providers and course delivers should follow British Canoeing’s Guidance for Centres, Providers and Course Delivers and the Executive’s guidance on what is permissible in terms of essential work.

CANI’s phased return to paddlesport

CANI has reviewed the current Northern Ireland Executive legislation on Covid 19 and has drafted a provisional staged plan for guidelines to a return to paddlesport. This will include further guidance for clubs, centres, athletes/training, individuals and providers. This will be available shortly.

Link to Northern Ireland Executive Guidance

Comments are not currently open on this page.