10 Ways You Can Die in a Kayak and What You Can Do to Survive
Kayaking is fun and exciting. It is one of the best ways to enjoy the water at your own pace. Whether you are doing it alone or with other people, it is sure to be a good way to enjoy the outdoors. At times, it can also be frustrating, especially when you lack preparedness. At its worst, kayaking can result in death! With that, keep on reading and we’ll explore the most common ways you will die. More importantly, we’ll talk about the things you can do to survive.
1. Cold Water
Especially when you are kayaking in the winter, the extremely low temperature is one of the most serious risks to address. It becomes worse once your kayak flips and you are stuck on the water. You can die because of hypothermia. When it is extremely cold, your body will be sore and numb. You won’t be able to think straight. Because you are disoriented, it is hard to plan your next move. The best way to prevent this problem is by wearing the right clothes, especially ones made of materials that can keep you warm even when you are in the water.
2. Rolling Over
Rolling over is one of the mishaps that you would not want to happen when you are kayaking. Many things can lead to this incident. For instance, the culprits can be large waves or strong wind. It can also be because the kayak cannot support the weight of the user and the gears. So, before you go kayaking, take note of the weight that the kayak can support and make sure to not go above it. Research about the external conditions as well to ensure your safety in the water.
3. Lack of Life Vest
A life vest is a non-negotiable when it comes to your kayaking gear. Some people might insist that they are good swimmers, and hence, a life vest is unnecessary. Truth is, even if you are a professional swimmer, you need a flotation device that will help you when you are submerged on the water. It helps you to stay afloat without requiring a lot of effort on your end. Choose a life vest that is comfortable so that you won’t be discouraged to use it. The color is also important. It should be highly visible so that you can be easily seen by anyone approaching. This also makes it easier for rescuers to see you.
If boats can sink, the same thing can happen in your kayak. Many things can contribute to this unfortunate situation. For instance, this can be because of having a weight that is beyond what the kayak supports. This can also be because of water getting in the kayak. It weighs the kayak down, causing it to sink. You must use the right type of kayak to prevent water from pooling in.
When you are kayaking in a busy area, there is a risk that you will be bumping into boats. The bump can be extreme and can result in your death. This might sound like an exaggeration, but this can happen. A good solution is to avoid kayaking in a crowded spot with big boats, especially for novices. Flags, whistles, and reflective tapes will also help so that you can be easily seen.
Big waves can cause an accident when you are kayaking, and this can also be a cause of death. Research before kayaking to be sure that you are heading in places without large waves that you won’t be able to handle. If it is inevitable, at least, find a kayak that is rigid and stable enough to survive the big waves. You should also invest in your knowledge on how to get over the waves and survive in case the kayak flips.
7. Immovable Objects
Rocks, cliffs, and bridges are some of the most common examples of immovable objects that can lead to death when you are kayaking. Like with boats, what can happen is that you will accidentally bump into these objects. The kayak may lose its balance and sink. In turn, you will be on the water. If you don’t know how to perform self-rescue techniques, you will get stranded. Without a helping hand, especially when it is extremely cold, you might not get out of the water alive. So, always keep an eye on where you are heading. Especially if you are kayaking at night, make sure that there are lights so that you will be more aware of your surroundings.
As a part of situational awareness when you are kayaking, keep an eye on the animals that you might encounter along the way. Some of them might seem friendly at first, but they can be dangerous and put your life in danger. Crocodiles, alligators, sharks, otters, and seals are some of the creatures that might greet you. As always, it is best to research your kayaking destination for your peace of mind.
9. Getting Stranded
This is another unfortunate way by which you can end up dying during your kayaking trip. When you are stranded for hours, especially when it is extremely cold and without food to eat, you can die. A good thing to do is to avoid places that you are unfamiliar with. If you want to brave new kayaking territories, however, make sure that other people are kayaking in the area. Invest in gears that will help you find rescue whenever you are stranded.
10. Lack of Lights
Having no lights in your kayak can contribute to a fatal accident. For instance, when you are night kayaking in an area with large boats, the captain cannot see you because you are low on the water surface. You need to have lights, which will be a signal that there is a kayak. Otherwise, the boat can hit your kayak. You might end up stranded on the water, and you can die. With your lights on, it is easy to send a warning that there is someone on a kayak.
People can die when they are kayaking. When you are not careful, this is the same fate that you might end up suffering. Luckily, there are easy ways to avoid this. Knowledge is power. Preparation is the key. Be well-informed before you head out on a kayaking trip and prepare the essential gear. If possible, do it with a buddy or in an area where there will be an immediate rescue in case something bad happens to you.