Can you drown while kayaking is one of the frequent questions a lot of people always ask.
You can drown while kayaking depending on how you follow safety rules and how kitted you are with the right kayaking gears like using a life jacket and your experience in swimming.
Drowning is one of the emergencies with the highest fatalities as far as activities on the water is concerned.
This is always due to a mistake from the person making use of a kayak or a due to a faulty kayak.
That is why it is always advised to make sure that you use a personal floatation device like the life jacket when you are kayaking.
This will help reduce drowning when kayaking.
Causes Of Drowning While Kayaking
1) Lack Of Wearing a Life Jacket
Whenever drowning occurs during a casualty on water, one of the frequent cause is always linked to lack of wearing a personal floatation device.
One of the common floatation devices that is used when kayaking is the life jacket.
With the help of a life jacket, you will be kept afloat on the water when a casualty sets in.
But if you become carefree and refuse to make use of a life jacket when you are kayaking, you will be exposed to a lot of dangers.
One of these dangers is drowning.
When drowning occurs, it leads to the death of the person that has drowned.
That is why drowning is the cause of the most fatalities when kayak or boating emergency occurs on the water surface.
2) Faulty Kayak With a Hole
One of the things you must always avoid when you are on the water body is to make sure that you avoid the use of a faulty kayak.
This is one of the causes of drowning while kayaking.
This is why you must always make sure that you check the condition of your kayak before you use it on the water.
One of the things you have to check for is holes on the kayak.
In a plastic kayak, it leads to the entrance of water into the kayak.
This increases the weight of the kayak which rises above the weight capacity of the kayak.
This leads to the sinking of the kayak.
Due to this, the helpless person in the kayak is exposed to a high degree of danger.
If the person did not wear a life jacket, drowning might be the next thing.
That is why having a hole in your kayak is a very dangerous damage.
It is even worse when a hole develops in an inflatable kayak.
This leads to the deflation of the kayak easily.
That is why you have to make sure that you fix any hole that you see in your kayak no matter how small it might be.
When using an inflatable kayak, make sure that you check the air inlet valve for faults too.
When there is no hole on the body of an inflatable kayak, the air inlet valve might be faulty.
This is also as dangerous as having a hole in the kayak.
This is because a faulty air inlet valve will lead to the loss of air pressure in the kayak.
3) Cold Shock
One of the things that you experience when your body comes in contact with water that is very cold is that you will have a cold shock.
This is very bad for your health.
But you cannot avoid coming in contact with a cold water when a casualty occurs while you kayak.
This could occur when your kayak flips over while you are kayaking.
At such point, you will fall off from your kayak and fall into the water.
If the water is very cold, you will experience a cold shock.
This is reduced when you are well kitted with the right gear when you are kayaking.
But if you are not well kitted with the right gear when you are kayaking, the cold shock will easily lead to drowning.
That is why it is a very bad idea to kayak with a bare body.
4) Lack Of Swimming Skills From the Person In The Kayak
One of the skills that is an added advantage for any kayaker is the ability to swim.
Lacking the ability to swim is one of the causes of drowning when you kayak on the water.
To avoid this, you have to make sure that you have a basic swimming skill before you kayak deep into the water.
If you lack the ability to swim, always make sure that you are kayaking close to the shores of the water where there are other people watching.
In the case of a flip over, it will be easy for you to be saved.
But when you kayak deep into the water with little to no swimming skill, you may drown when casualties set in.
That is why it is very important to get trained on how to kayak before you start kayaking deep into the water body.
In such training, you will also be taught how to swim.
This will help you defend yourself from casualties like drowning if your kayak flips over.
5) High Alcohol Intake
Whenever you are on a kayak, one of the most important things you have to take into consideration is your mental health while kayaking.
This will help you attain balance and avoid the tendency to fall off the kayak.
A good way to make sure that this is possible depends on what you drink before kayaking or while kayaking.
Having some snacks and drinks in your kayak is very necessary especially when you are participation in a long distance kayaking.
But what is more important is the type of drink that you carry along with you.
It should not be a drink that will make you sleep while kayaking.
It should not be a drink that has a high percentage of alcohol.
This will distort your mental stability if it is high in alcohol percentage.
Due to this, you become unstable while kayaking.
This makes you fall out of the kayak at any little turbulence in the water.
Due to this, you may easily drown in the water as you may not be able to swim to where your kayak is located.
This is one of the things that causes someone to drown when kayaking and should be avoided at all cost.
6) Inexperience Of The Person In The Kayak
Inexperience is one of the things that is observed in people that start kayaking newly.
That is why beginners in kayaking are always advised to stay away from water bodies that are turbulent.
Apart from that, the novice should not go into the deep part of the water alone if they are not kayaking with an experienced person.
This is to make sure that the occurrence of casualty is eliminated.
They should always be very close to the shores of the water when they are kayaking and make sure that they avoid water bodies that are turbulent with fast moving water current.
7) Poor Health Condition
Another thing that leads to drowning when kayaking has to do with poor health condition.
Kayaking is a sport that needs strength when you engage in it.
A person with a poor state of health may not have such level of strength to kayak safely.
This increases the chances of the person drowning when kayaking.
This is even worse when the person kayaks into the parts of the water where the water turbulence is high.
This needs extra strength to be able to keep the kayak in the desired direction or getting back into the kayak when the kayak flips over.
This becomes hard for a person with poor health to successfully do.
Due to this, the person may easily drown in the water.
This is why you have to limit your kayaking very close to the shores of the water when you are weak.
8) Going Above Weight Capacity Of a Kayak
Every kayak has a weight limit.
This is to make sure that the kayak functions well when on the water.
To achieve this level of safety and swift performance of the kayak when it is on the water body, the weight capacity of the kayak should not be exceeded.
Exceeding the weight capacity of the kayak will reduce the functionality and optimum performance of the kayak.
9) Turbulent Water Waves And Current
A turbulent water current is a major situation that causes drowning while kayaking.
This is because when the water current that you kayak on gets very fast and turbulent, it affects the stable movement of the kayak.
This leads to situations like the kayak flipping over.
At such an instance, the person in the kayak is separated from the kayak.
Due to the fast water current, the kayak may be taken by the water wave to another place that is very far from the reach of the kayaker.
This leaves the kayaker stranded in the water.
If help does not come quick, the person may drown if the distance of the person is very far from the shores of the water.
This takes so much time and energy.
If the person is not too strong to swim to the shores of the water or gets rescued on time, the person may drown.
That is why it is always good to avoid turbulent water bodies especially when you are kayaking alone.
Hypothermia is a very bad health condition that kills quickly.
When it occurs, it leads to the rapid reduction in the temperature of the body.
Due to this, a lot of the vital organs in the body begin to malfunction.
If the person is not rescued on time, the person will easily lose the ability to function well.
Due to this, the person drowns in the water.
One of the things that leads to hypothermia is when someone remains too long in extreme cold.
This is usually as a result of the casualty that occurs on the water.
It gets worse with people who cannot swim or someone that was not with a life jacket.
A person that is experienced in swimming will easily swim out of the water to a safer place but a novice or someone who cannot swim will still be struggling in the water.
This worsens and reduces the internal temperature of the body which eventually leads to the death of the person as a result of hypothermia.
When asked questions like can you drown while kayaking, a lot of the possible causes have been discussed in this guide.
It is very important to obey all the safety rules that will keep you safe from harm when kayaking.
That is by making sure that you avoid any situation that causes drowning while kayaking.