Paddle Safe Paddle Smart

Figures show that the fatality rate among paddlers is increasing. Maritime Safety Victoria is determined to alert paddlers to the importance of wearing a lifejacket and carrying multiple means of raising the alarm.

Be able to raise the alarm

Paddling behaviour and incident reports

David Hourigan, Director of Transport Safety Victoria (TSV), said he was concerned by study findings that come at a time when kayaks, canoes, sit on top kayaks, stand up paddleboards and surf skis are increasing in popularity.

"I welcome the Coroners Court report that examined data from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2016 and found that, of 107 recreational boater deaths, 19 (17.8 per cent) were paddlers.

"The 19 deceased paddlers were all males and not one had a means of raising the alarm.

"Eleven of the paddlers had a lifejacket with them and seven were wearing them - but only five had them correctly fitted."

A market research study commissioned by MSV found that paddlers thought their activity was low risk and this attitude is at odds with the Coroners findings.

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