If you're heading out in a kayak or on a paddleboard, here are some guidelines to help you stay safe on the water.
- Check the weather before you go out and be wary of offshore winds.
- Tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back.
- Wear a lifejacket.
- Be seen. During the day wear or display something bright coloured. At night, you need to display an all-round white light or have ready a bright torch so other vessels can see you.
- Take at least one form of communication device with you (for example, a cell phone or VHF radio in a dry bag).
- Learn the basics in flat, calm water.
- For any board sport, if a lifejacket is not worn, a wetsuit or tether/leash appropriate to the conditions must be worn.
- Keep a safe distance from swimmers.
- If in doubt, don't go out!
There's more infomation about kayaking and paddleboarding on the regional council website to help you enjoy these sports safely – visit www.nrc.govt.nz/onthewater