Heading down to the coast or out on the water is a great way to have fun and stay active. But, if you're not careful, it's a lot easier to get into trouble in the water than you might think. Conditions can change quickly and, if you're not prepared, you can easily get caught out.

Thinking of going kayaking? Canoeing? Kite Surfing? Stand Up Paddleboarding? The RNLI are Sea Safety Experts and have created activity guides covering a whole range of watersports and hobbies, so you can prepare yourself properly for the challenges of your chosen activity. There's even advice for your dog!

Click on the buttons below for more safety guidance from the RNLI on watersports such as kayaking and paddleboarding. Pamphlets are also available from the Lymington Harbour Office.


The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) also urge kayak owners and other watersports enthusiasts, to clearly label their property. This initiative came after hours were wasted looking for the owner of a kayak in the Solent in June 2020.

All it takes is a sharpie with a name and / or phone number. Marking-up surfboards, kayaks, SUPs, inflatables, paddles and lifejackets could help save invaluable time.

Dai Jones, HM Coastguard duty controller, says: “We recommend that you clearly mark your equipment and other items you bring to the coast with your name and contact details so that if it is lost, stolen or abandoned, we can contact you to make sure that you are safe. This really helps us to save a lot of time, and could provide us with extra information we need to help you if we believe you’re in difficulty at sea. For canoeists and kayakers, our other safety advice is to wear a buoyancy aid and make sure you carry a VHF radio, so you can contact the Coastguard on Channel 16 if you get into difficulty. A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is also a good idea for more remote locations, so an accurate position of where you are can be sent direct to the Coastguard. And, remember, to tell friends or family where you are going and when you expect to return so that they can contact us if you do not come home as expected.”

Lymington RNLI started a social media campaign in February 2021, Pass the Pen #LabelYourKit, to help reach water users and to ask for their support in marking their equipment with name, phone number and alternative contact number. While emergency services will always launch to those in need, the RNLI says identification of property is key to resource management.

Watersports labels can be ordered free online through the MCA if people don’t want to use indelible ink. There are also labels available free from the RNLI Lymington Lifeboat Shop and the Lymington Harbour Office.

For more information on staying safe you can visit the RNLI's Safety Page.

Copyright Lymington Harbour Commissioners 2019 all rights reserved.