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Safety advice for kayakers and paddle boarders after rescues on Lymington River



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LYMINGTON Harbour Commissioners have agreed to draw up guidance for paddle boarders and kayakers after a surge in people using the river for recreation.

The advice, which will include safety and environmental warnings, comes after harbour commission patrols cautioned a number of visitors on the dangers of rowing and paddling in shipping channels this summer.

Harbour master Ryan Willegers revealed how on one occasion kayakers became stranded on the salt marshes and had to be rescued.

The guidance applies to Lymington River (photo: petertt/123rf.com)
The guidance applies to Lymington River (photo: petertt/123rf.com)

In another incident a kayaker capsized beyond the railway bridge and needed help.

He said: “We weren’t overwhelmed by incidents but we have certainly found that with a significant growth in the use of these recreational crafts our harbour patrols are issuing guidance far more often about safety measures.”

“A slight difficulty arises because many of the kayakers arrive from Keyhaven or elsewhere, so the first time we encounter them is in the river.

“We will just do our best to get the message across in whichever way we can.”

Lymington River is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest so new guidance will also focus on safeguarding the environment and marine and birdlife.

Mr Willegers added: “The RNLI do produce some very good safety advice, so should be able to incorporate some of that and tailor it to Lymington River – particularly highlighting the importance of not disturbing nature.”

The guidance will be issued across a number of channels including social media, the Lymington Harbour Commissioners' website and in print ahead of next year’s summer season.



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