Kayak Safety Support Registration

Organised by Wessex Cancer Trust’s Isle of Wight Cancer Wellbeing Centre, Swim for Hope is a 1.3-mile cross-Solent swim, starting at Hurst Point in Hampshire and finishing at Colwell Bay on the Isle of Wight.

The swim will take place on Saturday, September 4th at approximately 9:20am at Hurst (tide and weather depending) to raise money for our Isle of Wight services. 

As a charity, we rely on fundraising events such as Swim for Hope to support our work and ensure that our support and services can continue.

Thank you very much for offering to help us with safety support – without your help we would not be able to run the event. Please read and take note of the following which has been drawn up by Dave Lutas of IOW Canoe Club, before signing up:

Any person taking part as kayak support for this event must ensure the following

-The kayak is in a seaworthy condition and suitable for the crossing.
-Inflatable kayaks are not permitted
-You must be competent to complete the crossing and the return journey.
-You must wear appropriate clothing, i.e. waterproofs, suitable footwear etc.
-At all times you must wear a correctly fitted buoyancy aid or life jacket.
-You are required to carry a pea-less whistle within easy reach at all times.
-You must be familiar with ‘rafting up’ procedure with other kayaks.
-You are available to take part in at least one rescue and recovery practice sessions at a time TBC.
-You are available to attend the online pre-event safety briefing on the evening of Friday 3rd September specific time TBC.

Once you register we will invite you to the Swim for Hope Facebook group for updates of the time and location of the rescue and recovery practice session and the pre-event safety briefing. If you do not have Facebook, or do not regularly use it the updates will be also sent over email.

Please note that the swim will take place in the morning – final timings will be confirmed closer to the date.

Kayakers instructions

Kayakers must register their attendance at Colwell on the day of the swim at a time to be confirmed.

There will be a short briefing and numbered wristbands will be issued which must be worn at all times during the event. Kayakers will be escorted by a safety vessel across the Solent.

Kayakers will escort a maximum of two swimmers across the Solent. Kayakers must ensure the swimmers stay together during the swim. If the swimmers need to be split up, kayaker must request the assistance of a spare kayaker. The kayaker is responsible for the initial safety of the swimmers.

In the event of a panicking swimmer, the kayaker must calm the swimmer by using words of reassurance before getting close and assisting. Once the swimmer is calm, offer either the bow or stern of your kayak. This way there is less likelihood of the swimmer capsizing the kayak. Call for assistance – Kayakers call for assistance is a ‘raised vertical paddle’.

In the unlikely event of an unconscious swimmer, the kayaker should turn the casualty so that the head is facing out of the water, support the head and summon assistance immediately.

A whistle must only be used in an emergency. A series of long blasts and continue until attention has been drawn. A safety craft will approach and remove the swimmer from the water. Assist the safety craft by being vigilant of any other swimmers in the vicinity.

If the kayaker has VHF radio, channel will be confirmed at the safety briefing.

It is good practice for kayakers to be ‘self sufficient’ wherever possible. Carry a spare paddle if you are able, wear a towline if you have one and are trained in its use, carry a pealess whistle, have a high energy drink and snack available, and carry a first aid kit if you are qualified to use it.

Kayakers are safety conscious at all times, constantly aware of their surroundings and always respect the environment.

Please fully complete this form in order to participate in the above charity event. The information provided is for the purposes of safety and identification only and will remain confidential to the organisers (Wessex Cancer Trust) and HM Coastguard, unless required for such purpose. Email addresses will be used for circulating information/updates about the event.

Please indicate if you are unable to access email and arrange for an alternative means of communication

The organisers reserve the right to decline the participation of anyone they believe may be unsuitable for any reason.