Safety Kits

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This page contains some comments and suggestions on the mandated "safety kits" that all coaching launches must carry. But why not also consider putting together a similar kit for bank coaches to take with them? It might just come in handy one day.

Links to any products or suppliers on this site are just illustrative and (except where stated) aren't recommendations - just ideas for you. Any good chandlers or canoeing shop should be able to source all of this kit. As ever, if anyone has any suggestions for other kit / suppliers, then let me know and I'll see if I can include some more links.

Launch Safety Kits

Row Safe specifies a list of safety aids that must be carried in all coaching launches and safety boats. The contents are listed below, together with my comments and suggestions. Did I mention that all of this is unofficial and not endorsed by the ARA or anyone else for that matter? I hope it's useful.

Bailer and (for inflatable launches) spare valve and pump

Sound signalling warning device (at least 200m range)

A 15m (minimum) grab line, or preferably purpose made "throw bag"

Thermal / exposure blankets

Life buoys and lifejackets

A basic First Aid Kit

A sharp knife in a carrying sheath

A paddle

Handholds on the side of the launch

Engine cut-out lanyard

Anchor and line


I would consider adding the following. A mechanical breakdown in the boat isn't per se a safety issue, but if you can fix a problem out on the water before it turns into a safety hazard, then everyone wins.

Bank Safety Kits

So what if you don't use coaching launches? Suppose all your coaching is done from the towpath. In this case, I would suggest that clubs consider providing mini safety kits suitable for a coach on foot or on a bike. These should be able to fit into a small rucksack / bumbag, bicycle pannier or strap onto a bicycle rack. Contents to consider are: