Stay Safe! – Register your SUPs and Kayaks
It has been another incredibly busy season on the water for our team with vessels of all shapes and sizes enjoying all that the Fowey Estuary has to offer. We have again noticed that there has been an obvious expansion in the numbers of Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) and kayaks, not just in the lower harbour, but all the way up river to Lostwithiel and Lerryn.
These craft are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive and, whilst they allow access to the water for a wide sector of people, this comes with some safety concerns for us as the Harbour Authority. Users of SUPs and kayaks can lack experience on the water, especially around weather and tides, which can catch them out. We have had a number of incidences where our Patrol Team have assisted SUPs in the busy lower harbour. Although thankfully there have not been any significant injuries, with the sheer number of these craft on the water, it seems that unless we take some steps to educate and control things it is only a matter of time before an incident does occur. The Harbour Commissioners feel it is time to take early action to engage with these harbour users and reach out to them to provide some safety advice and local knowledge.
From January 2022, FHC are launching a safety campaign directly aimed at SUPs and kayak users which will require all SUPs and kayaks to register with Fowey Harbour before use. They will be issued with an annual licence sticker and harbour dues collected. The owner’s details will be captured to provide them with safety information, but also be able to identify their kit if it is found adrift or unattended.
We acknowledge that many SUP and kayak users enjoy exploring the peace and tranquillity of the upper estuary and these safety concerns are equally as prevalent here where the receding tide reveals mud-flats and the scale of the estuary means people can easily become isolated.
Look at our Paddle Sports Code of Conduct and please get your kit registered with Fowey Harbour by contacting the Harbour Office.