The ‘Be Safe’ framework is designed to guide safe participation, management and organisation of recreational ocean paddling. The framework reinforces information and common practices that have been developed by various organisations throughout Australia and the international community.
The framework enables paddlers to think about what approach they should take to ensure safe ocean paddling practices. When this is applied then informed decisions can be made about safe practices relevant to the paddling activity they want to experience. The framework is outcomes based and is supported by guidelines not rules or law.
The ‘Be Safe’ framework for ocean paddling safety is supported by key pillars:
- General and Safety Equipment
- Competency and Capability
- Environment & Climate
- Individual Behaviour
- Individual Awareness
While recreational paddlers may follow these guides it does not guarantee incident or consequence free ocean paddling experiences. Recreational ocean paddlers must be prepared to honestly assess their own ability to undertake a paddling event based on all the variables confronting that event. Each individual must seek advice if they are unsure of conditions, route or their own ability and must be prepared to withdraw from the activity if they retain any element of doubt. Each individual must recognise that they potentially put others at risk by entering into a paddling event if they retain doubt or lack confidence to complete the event safely.
There exist many organisational documents relating to policy, procedure and guidelines on paddling safety that can and should be accessed by individuals or groups to determine the most appropriate safety framework they should operate within.
The framework seeks to summarise the content of other available policy/guidelines and provide direction on what these are and where to access them. When paddling in the ocean individuals must also be aware of marine safety regulations in Western Australia that may apply to each paddling activity.
Download the framework here.