No activity, be it water based or land based, can be totally risk free. However, we do our best to provide you with the best equipment and knowledge, so that you can enjoy your time on the water in the safest way possible, either on the kayaks or on the RIB. Our licenses to operate are renewed annually when we are inspected by the Truro Harbour Master, under the authority of the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency). The kayaks and RIB are fully insured by specialist marine insurer Groves, John and Westrup, through Lloyds of London, and we have up to £3,000,000 Public Liability cover.
The kayaks are virtually unsinkable and will float when fully swamped. You will be provided with a Crewsaver or Gul buoyancy aid correctly fitted for your size. These are tested each year in accordance with BCU (British Canoe Union) guidelines to ensure they retain their buoyancy. A visual check is also carried out to make sure there is no adverse wear and tear. A record is kept of all testing.
The kayaks are inherently stable, that’s not to say you won’t fall in if you try hard enough! Being sit-on kayaks you will not be trapped inside. Either re-board the kayak or swim to the shore, which you should never be far from. You will be provided with a dry bag so you can take a mobile ‘phone with you . We have a couple of emergency ‘phones if you don’t have your own. You will also have a simple chart of the area. Take a look at the Kayak Guidelines, Conditions of Hire and Kayaking Chart pages for further information. During the early part of the season a wetsuit is advisable.
If you do capsize, re-boarding procedure- ensure the kayak is the correct way up. Imagine you are getting out of a swimming pool, but don’t put all your weight on the edge of the kayak you will just flip it over. You need to try and get your weight over the middle of the kayak and then scramble aboard.
Don’t keep struggling; after a couple of attempts swim for the shore, and we’ll worry about the kayak afterwards.
Over the last few years the RNLI has seen a huge increase in the number of call-outs to rescue inexperienced kayakers and paddle-boarders. So please listen to our advice on the day, paddle within your limits, stay close to the shore, think about the paddle back (it will be more difficult against wind and / or tide), and be aware of changing conditions. PADDLE SAFE.
We have never had any serious incidents, and I would very much like to keep it that way!
“Paramour 2” is a 7.2 metre (23.5ft), 9 passenger RIB (rigid inflatable boat). She was hand built in 2018/19 by XS RIBs in the UK. XS are renowned for their build quality and have boats in service with many commercial organisations around the world, such as the Coastguard, Navy, Police and many sailing schools and powerboat training centres. She is powered by a bullet proof Yamaha outboard, whose 200hp is more than enough to get her out of any situation. The engine is serviced by DL Marine every 100 hours, winterised and prepared again before each season. She is rated at Cat B which is: Winds up to and including force 8 with a wave height up to and including 4 metres! I will not be taking you out in that, but it’s good to know the capability is there.
Paramour 2 has all the necessary equipment on board specified by the MCA and Cornwall Council’s Head of Maritime. This includes: lifebuoys, rescue throwing line, first aid kit, flares, fire extinguishers, tool kit, navigation lights, radar reflector, VHF radio, AIS receiver, GPS, compass, anchor and lifejackets for all on board. These jackets are of the automatic gas inflation type. As the name suggests, they inflate automatically should you enter the water wearing one. These jackets must be serviced every year under the manufacturers guidelines. A record is kept of the servicing and any equipment / parts replaced. The jackets we use are all made by Crewsaver, who also supply the RNLI.
Each lifejacket is equipped with an emergency toggle which should only be pulled in the rare event that automatic inflation fails, a mouthpiece for oral inflation, a whistle and a SOLAS (safety of life at sea) approved strobe light for use at night. The light operates automatically on contact with water.
(As re-arming a lifejacket is costly and time consuming, a £40 fee is payable if a lifejacket is deliberately activated when the wearer is not in danger)
We insist that lifejackets are worn at all times when Paramour 2 leaves the confines of St. Mawes Harbour, i.e: travels faster than 8 knots. Anyone refusing to wear a lifejacket will not be carried.
During the Winter Season, Paramour 2’s safety equipment also includes an eight-man (or woman!) liferaft. This means that during the winter a maximum of seven passengers can be carried.
Paramour 2 is skippered by Mark, who is licensed by the Truro Harbour Master, under the authority of the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency), as a local boatman in the area of operation. He has over 45 years of boating experience, and bought his first RIB in 1987.
Persons of a frail disposition, or those suffering from a condition likely to be worsened by high speed manoeuvres and sudden jolting should email or call for advice. You may still be able to have a trip on Paramour 2, however speed and course may have to be modified depending on conditions prevailing on the day.
This is a fast ride on a fast RIB. It should be thrilling, but I am not in the business of “hairpin” turns, trying to throw people off and scaring passengers half to death!
I hope the above answers any safety concerns you may have. Please feel free to ask any questions on any aspect of your kayaking or RIB experience. Please take a look at the FAQ page as well.