The ocean coast is both beautiful and dangerous. There are few locations better to paddle a quality sea kayak, however never underestimate the numerous dangers, nor the volatility of the water and weather conditions.


Consider the following:

  • Never boat alone,
  • Have the skills, knowledge, and equipment adequate for all conditions,
  • Wear a life jacket, 
  • Study nautical charts/tide, tables/current, guide books – prepare for all potential ocean hazards,
  • Know the principles of navigation, 
  • Keep your paddle in the water,
  • Use a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), 
  • A weather radio is strongly recommended,
  • Have appropriate flotation in your boat, 
  • Kayakers – learn and master wet exits, rolls and self-rescues with paddle floats. 

Coastal Hazards 

Consider the following:

  • Hypothermia – The silent killer – be aware of exposure to wind and rain. Ensure adequate and appropriate clothing. If you somehow end up in the water – get out ASAP,
  • Wind – Can be dangerous, increasing in velocity and making control of a small craft difficult. Wind can also blow you offshore or onshore exposing you to the surf or a rocky razor-sharp shore, 
  • Wave Hazards – Large waves make capsizing more likely. During a tsunami warning, head out into deeper water, or get to shore and head for high ground,
  • Surf Hazards – Avoid abrupt dumping surf –  it can be extremely violent, 
  • Boomers – Always watch ahead for underwater rocks, plateaus, or shallows offshore  –  they can cause intermittent breakers,
  • Tidal Currents – Underwater obstructions, headlands, narrows, and shallows – can combine with a tidal current to cause waves, eddies, boils, whirlpools, overfalls,
  • Shipping Hazards – Never try to paddle across the path of a ship. Assume that other boats can’t see you, 
  • Fog – Without a compass or GPS, you could paddle in circles – keep the shore in sight at all times,
  • Animal Hazards – Give wide berth to Polar Bears, Walrus, bull Elephant Seals and Sea Lions rookeries. 
  • Red Tide (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) – Avoid eating any clams, oysters, mussels, or scallops unless you are 100% sure they are not contaminated with red tide.
  • Other Ocean Hazards – Tidal rips, rip currents, and shore currents. When on shore – tie off your boat and all equipment well above the high tide line.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Many of our adventures and random thoughts are captured with video and available on our YouTube channel


Don’t miss anything, 
Subscribe to our newsletter today.