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Generic Risk Assessments

When taking on the role of leader of sea kayak trips, we assume responsibility for a group of individuals and undertake the task of managing risks, briefing those involved, and in many instances exercising supervision and control.

Example areas for consideration
Manual handling
Medical conditions
Potential minor hazards
Road traffic accident


Dynamic Risk Assessment

Dynamic risk assessment is a continual process that starts before the activity, and continues after the activity has completed. This kind of assessment is the group leaders response to the actual conditions prevailing, and how they will affect risk for the planned activity.
Example areas for consideration
The group
The venue


Sea-kayaking risk assessments

Sea-kayaking is a relatively safe activity, where a high level of perceived risk can go hand in hand with a low level of actual risk. Sea kayaks are efficient craft that can be used in conditions that would be unsuitable for many other vessels, but as someone once said 'In a kayak you are only 180 degrees and 2 minutes from death'.
Example areas for consideration
Launching in surf or dumping waves
Entering caves and rock formations
Tides and currents
Coastline without easy 'get outs'


Example of a trip-specific risk assessment - Kimolos from Pollonia return trip

Kimolos is a good trip in most conditions and suitable for groups of mixed ability
Areas for consideration
Entering caves and rock formations
Tides and currents



In compiling these pages, and in view of the nature of the content, I have taken various liberties with text from other sources. It is well worth looking at the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the British Canoe Union (BCU), and as an example of how to put some of this into practice, the Dorset County Council pages.

HSE information sheet Combined water and rock activities: Guidance for providers

BCU Safeguarding children and adults

Dorset County Council Risk assessment of adventurous activities

This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office

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