How to stay safe on your stand up paddleboard

Here are the answers to the knowledge test at the end of the Communications chapter in book 1. 

1. Easy ways of attracting attention if you’re relatively close to (a populated) shore:

  • Waving your paddle.
  • Blowing your whistle.
  • Yelling / screaming.

2. Advantages of a portable marine VHF set as a comms option:

  • Floats.
  • Robust.
  • Great for broadcasting. You can reach a lot of people in one go.
  • It gives you an instant link to authorities such as coastguard, port radio etc who can assist with emergency service backup.
  • Great for communicating with others in your group.

3. What would be a practical emergency comms option if you’re going wilderness paddling a long way away from built-up areas?

  • A personal locator beacon or satphone.

4. Practical considerations for using personal locator beacons:

  • The device must be registered.
  • You must know how to cancel a call out.
  • Needs to be re-registered if you use it in another zone.

5. Disadvantages of mobile phones as a safety comms option for SUP:

  • It will only work if there is signal.
  • It needs to be charged up.
  • It may not work with wet fingers.
  • Getting through to emergency services can take time and you may need to stay on the line, which can be tricky if you’re trying to do other stuff.
  • You can only talk to one person at once.
  • If it’s not waterproof (and few mobile phones genuinely are) then you’re going to need to keep it in a waterproof case.