Safety Officer Report – SAFETY DAY AT LAKE KAWANA  13/10/2011

Submitted by Sue Alcock
Photos taken by Barbara Dillon. You will find at slideshow in the Photo Gallery…
This report is available in .pdf Format…Safety Day 131011_Sue Alcock

© Barbara Dillon

Our October Safety Day had beautiful weather, still waters, a great guest speaker and a good turnout by Suncoast Senior members.
The morning began bright and early with general housekeeping issues:

  • Queensland Canoeing kayaking skills booklets available to buy. Email –
  • Sunshine Coast Council seniors promotion booklet featuring many members.
  • Tasmanian trip in February – Jim Blythe
  • Chinderah camp in November – Brian Inman
  • Awards presented to Alan Taylor & Jim Blythe


© Barbara Dillon

Guest speaker is an honorary member of our seniors kayaking club although, believe it or not, he is a young 42 years old. He has been honoured with the title of which the club members are delighted.
Over the past year Gary has done a lot of ocean kayaking instruction with many members (in preparation for open water kayaking trips)

Leadership responsibilities

Leaders need to:
  • Set the pace, watching all the time for the slowest paddler’s pace.
  • Incorporate the use of paddle & whistle signals as often as necessary.
  • River crossing options could be to divide into two smaller groups, for safety.
Gary told us that “Leaders are volunteers, they take on a responsibilities which deserve respect, so give them a ‘pat on the back’ show them respect and make sure they do not reach the burn out level”

Different types of leaders

  • Authoritarian – controlling through verbal directions, do as I say approach.
  • Democratic – guides through speech, role modelling and actions.
  • Laissez faire – unclear instructions, easy going, anything will be ok.

Kayaking gear

© Barbara Dillon

Suggested equipment members may like to consider when ocean kayaking. Not a full list but maybe a starter kit.

  • Spare bungy cord (8-10mm) and rope.
  • Throw rope (15m) flares, glow in the dark sticks ($12) coloured sea dye.
  • Spare paddle and tools to repair, including a green garbage bag for lost hatches.
  • Dry bags can be blown up and used as floatation ….. “to get out of trouble”.
  • Always keep kayaking equipment in good order – check regularly.
  • Baby nappy rash cream for chafing.
  • Use stainless steel items where possible, to avoid rust.

Water Activities

© Barbara Dillon

  • Gary checked each kayak for safety (PFD’s, side ropes, bailers, pumps etc.)
  • Role-playing, the different types of leadership styles, in kayaks and on the water. Which one are you?
  • Swimmer deck rescue – legs in or out depending on stability. Hold onto paddler.
  • Wet exist and ‘cowboy” re-entry …. along back deck.
  • Sitting on kayak behind the cockpit, and paddle.
  • Re-entry – move into cockpit then do the reverse to sit on back again (as above).
  • Lying on the back of the kayak, paddle forward using only the hands.).
Once again we enjoyed a beautiful lunch, so a big thank you to Jan from all those who attended and thank you to Barbara who was the only person who had a camera on the day ………… lots of great photos, soon to go on our web site!
Thanks also to Gary Forest for his very informative talk and hands on water activities.
I have been told that several club members went out paddling the following Tuesday, up at Noosa, and did some more practicing of the skills learned during the week.
For anyone interested in contacting Gary his details are as follows:
Business name – Blue Energy Australia
Mobile no – 0429 876 955
Email –
Finally thankyou to those folk who attended the October Day at Kawana

© Barbara Dillon