Kite Boarders, WInd Surfers and Kayakers

Gale force winds and breaking seas are very exciting, but they can easily overwhelm even the most experienced people. Keep in mind, some of the self-rescue techniques that you may be relying on can be difficult or impossible in rough conditions. Cold and fatigue reduces everyone's ability to perform.

Here are some things to consider when planning your outing to help keep you safe.

1) Critically and rationally evaluate the weather, wind, waves, and tidal conditions and forecasts before going out on the water.

Click here to get weather information.

Click here to get tide information.

2) Consider your own skills, strengths, and abilities before heading out. Be honest with yourself.

3) Ensure you have the proper gear and that it is in good working order.

4) File a sail/float plan with a reliable friend ashore and establish check-in times and communication plans. Make sure you check-in as planned!

Click here to download a sail/float plan.

5) Carry a waterproof handheld portable VHF marine radio and know how to use it to communicate with Coast Guard and rescue vessels. This could save your life if you get into trouble off shore. It can also help greatly with false alarms. It is not uncommon for well-meaning bystanders to call for a rescue based on their perception of a kite boarder or wind surfer being in trouble - even when, in actual fact, they are not.

6) Kite-boarders should consider having a spotter in a boat available to assist them should the winds, tide, or waves carry them off shore beyond their ability to self-rescue, especially if venturing out in rough conditions.