Safe Kayaking Practices

Safe Kayaking Practices

by | Oct 5, 2015

I felt it relevant this week to bring up our safety standards and policies, once again.  As I feared, the kayaking tragedy in Tekapo has tainted the safety image of kayaking in New Zealand.  We lost our first two paddlers today due to the tragedy, and as much as we tried to explain that our tours are safely guided, and that we’re a safety audited activity – they still didn’t want to participate and forfeited their booking with us.

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This bugs me – not because we lost a booking, but because it’s a real shame for an industry that has put in so much effort over the last few years to achieve leading global safety standards.

We successfully passed our Safety Audit in July 2014, and have been continually reviewing our companies safety procedures since then.  We hold monthly meetings with our staff and try to involve everyone in the company into our safety systems.

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We understand the weather patterns on the coast, and we cancel our tours accordingly.  We actually received a review from a customer last summer who never even came for a paddle with us.  Read below:

 

Frances from the UK wrote on Tripadvisor:

“WE TRIED!!

We tried….and so did the VERY efficient staff who manage this attraction!
I write “we tried” because after being successfully kitted out and taken with the kayaks to Lake Mapourika…the weather changed!
We DID get afloat and started to paddle in beautiful surroundings BUT….our guides were unhappy with the change in the weather and we all had to return to the shore!
A short kayak experience….sadly!
We were refunded in full and I have to say that I admire the professional approach that was applied to our situation.
If I am ever that way again I would not hesitate to use this company!
It was loss of revenue for the company….but, our safety quite clearly came first!

Visited November 2014″
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It was really nice to receive this feedback like this, and we hope all the customers we’ve ever had to cancel feel the same way.  We also wish that customers, like the ones today, would really listen to what we say when we’re speaking about safety and weather conditions … and just realize that it’s not at all about money.
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Last year I decided to get rid of our Kayak Hire options, so please remember that all our tours are safely guided, weather is checked continuously through the day, radios and emergency GPS beacons are present on ALL trips.  We also have a safety boat on standby at all times.
We’re blessed with a beautiful, calm venue which is ideal for novice paddlers and we even cater to non-swimmers.
For the calmest, clearest conditions please book onto a morning paddle.  Here’s some photos from the last week’s morning kayak classic tours, and a school group we took out from Brazil!
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Tune in next week, we’re going to present some pictures from a Stand Up Paddle trip … the first of many we hope!