Risk Assessment and Incident Management
This course will introduce paddlers to the concept and practice of risk assessment for sea kayakers. It willalso train participants in how to deal with situations in which – in spite of the assessed risks – things have
gone very wrong.
The risk assessment portion of the course will present and discuss the factors that need to be taken into
account by all paddlers at all times before getting on the water and what issues require constant
monitoring once on the water, to avoid chaos and possible tragedy. Wind, weather, waves, current, the
group’s skill level, available equipment, and other considerations will all be reviewed. In addition, Paula
will present the formal risk assessment models used by the Tsunami Rangers (discussed in the November
2019 issue of Coastbusters) and by Body, Boat, Blade (discussed in the January 2020 issue of
Sometimes, in spite of careful planning and risk assessment, shit happens. The situations that arise – and
responding appropriately to them – will form the main part of this course. During a journey on the water,
various and multiple manufactured “incidents” will confront the group and will need to be dealt with by
them. These may include relatively mild incidents like the paddler who wants to go off on her own, or a
blown/lost hatch cover.
They will also likely include more serious incidents like a capsized paddler who
is unable to get back in his boat, a lost paddler, or a situation in which everyone in the group has capsized.
This course is on flat water, but it will challenge you both physically and mentally. It will also deepen
your understanding of how to prevent “incidents” and how to respond safely and creatively to them when
they do happen.
Both because and in spite of the above, this course is also an incredible amount of fun!