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Safety & Guidelines

Canoeing is a high risk sport. It is an inherently dangerous activity, which could lead to injury or death. With a combination of training, based on the accepted code of technique and safety, and experience gathered over a number of years, these risks can be eliminated or reduced. At UHCC we aim to reduce all risks to a minimum on club activities.

A few basic water safety guidelines


Even for the easiest waters all paddlers should be able to swim at least 50 metres in paddling clothing.

• Do not set out on a paddling expedition alone, or without practice or experience.


• On fast rivers and the sea, there should be at least three boats/craft in a group, to help each other if the need arises.


• Start with easy rivers or canals and work up gradually to faster waters.


• Do not attempt sea or estuary paddling until you have had more experience, can paddle well and have learned about winds, tides and currents and buoyage.

Some advice on keeping your child safe


• During UHCC events or trips, under 16s must paddle with a parent/guardian or responsible adult who is paddling the same type of craft – and stays with them in the same group.


• 16 to 18 year olds may paddle without a parent/guardian/responsible adult, but a consent form will be required if they paddle without their parent/guardian.


• On away trips, a competent person or coach qualified to lead the trip as per BC guidelines will be in charge of all under 18s on the water. This leader will be in charge of decisions on whether to accept under 18s, with factors such as paddling ability, accommodation suitability, behaviour, etc taken into account.


• Under 18s on away trips must provide a specific trip consent form, unless their parent/guardian is also on the trip and qualified to BC standard for that level of water.


• Consent forms must be received by the trip leader before the day of the trip.


• A consent form for 16-18 year olds to cover flat/placid water activities should accompany the membership application.

The UHCC Child Protection and Harassment Policy can be found here.

Water quality

Please be aware that the quality of water in our local rivers can vary, and there are various water-borne diseases and bugs (such as Leptospirosis) which paddlers could be susceptible to. Details of potential conditions can be found here. Information on water quality tests conducted locally can be found here.

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Upper Hamble Canoe Club Rules 

• For UHCC club sessions at the Bark Store, the published programme time is the ‘on the water’ time. Arrival at the Bark Store should be no earlier than 30 minutes before this time.


• No fewer than three paddlers to a group at all times.


• Buoyancy aids to be worn by all when near or on the water.


• Shoes should be worn. Flip flops and training shoes are not suitable and you may be refused to paddle with the club in them.


• A child is classed as under 16 and must always be accompanied by a guardian on the water in the same type of craft.


• Child paddlers should never be left with fewer than 2 adults for the protection of all.


• 16-18 year olds can paddle unaccompanied, on completion of a consent form given to the club membership secretary.


• Use Steeple Court car park on club paddles. Do not park in the lane or by the water works.


 A full list of UHCC Club Session rules can be found here.

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