Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: Swimming skills
In Response To: Swimming skills ()

: One of my co-workers wants to go sea kyaking in a marsh on the Maine coast.
: He does not know how to swim, so my first instinct was to say NO. Is
: swimming a reasonable pre-requisite, or can he rely on his pfd?

: Thanks,
: Tom


The answer is an unequivocal NO! You must be capable of swimming at least 100 yards, kayakers should also be familiar with the basics of how to rescue a swimmer in distress, including entering the water and bringing an unconscious paddler to safety. A non-swimmer in a kayak is an emergency waiting to happen.
I cannot emphasize this enough. As a former lifeguard and swimming instructor, fatalities around the water involving swimmers are much more common than those involving boaters.