COVID-19: Safe Paddling with CKC

COVID-19: Special Protocols for Safe Paddling with CKC, June 2020

Now that government restrictions have eased and our governing authority, British Canoeing, have also updated their guidance, we are able to get small groups of kayakers back on the water.

We are planning to re-start kayaking on the Thames shortly.

To do that we need to put in place some new protocols to continue to keep us all safe.

The principle of our new protocols is to minimise spread and prevent infection. The new protocols are summarised as follows:

  1. You must NOT join in with any paddling trip if you had any symptoms of respiratory illness (or other symptoms listed by the NHS guidance that could relate to a COVID-19 infection) within the previous seven days.
  2. You must NOT join in with any paddling trip if any member of your household has any of these symptoms currently (you should be in a quarantine period for 14 days).
  3. Sharing of clothes, equipment must be kept to an absolute minimum.
  4. Equipment that has to be shared must be cleaned down before and after use by the individual using that equipment.
  5. Physical / social distancing guidance applies at all times.
  6. Hand hygiene measures continue to be very important and hand sanitiser will need to be brought and used before and after each trip.

To assist us in the above, we would like to ask you to arrive wearing what you will paddle in, including your own windproof/cagoule/anorak (as changing rooms are out of use and all time indoors must be minimised).   It will be fine to wear something that is windproof more than water proof whilst it is summer. For example a walking waterproof or shell jacket will be fine.

Please also bring the following items with you:

  1. Wet-wipes or (better for the environment) two wash rags/cloths and a bag to contain them in. You will need to use these to wipe down the equipment and put them in the bag to take home and wash at 60 degrees so they can be reused.
  2. Disinfectant spray, non-bleach variety. This is to be used for wiping down equipment.
  3. Hand sanitiser / alcohol hand gel for personal use.
  4. Dry bag with a change of clothes and space to keep your valuables.
  5. Lights for your kayak.
  6. Something warm to wear (layers work best) and something rainproof.
  7. A snack and some drinking water.

Please see the Calendar, Training & Trips page for the specific details of what you need to bring and the COVID-19 specific logistics for each paddling trip.

COVID-19 Logistics at The Arches

There will be no access to the changing rooms and kitchen (in Arch 1) and time indoors has to be minimised. We will be allowed to use the loo in Arch 1 – the pair of toilets will be allocated to CKC to start with and we will be responsible for cleaning them at the end of each session, and obviously between users! CKC will have bleach in the club cage for this purpose. Members will need to use their own wipes/cloth to wipe down the seat, flush handle, sink taps before and after use, then take your wipes/cloth home after use. Please remember not to flush wet wipes down the toilet they are not biodegradable and clog up the old toilet plumbing.

The Thames leader will put in place a system of collecting equipment that is needed (i.e. boat, spray deck, buoyancy aid, paddle) to prevent more than two people being in Arch 2 at any one time.

The kayaks will be taken straight to the foreshore to be set up there and in places more than 2 metres apart. We will only be going out on the water when the tide allows there to be a foreshore/beach. It is here that the equipment will be need to be cleaned down before and after trip.

On the Water

The Thames leader on the day will be giving a clear briefing on the new systems and new rescue procedures. These include not rafting up or sharing food/drink while on the water.

If you need to do a rescue while paddling, it must be either a self-rescue or the swimmer needs to be towed to a beach. No assisted rescues are allowed.



Getting Ready

  • Get your personal items & dry clothing together in a dry bag
  • Wash your hands with your alcohol gel
  • Pair up with a carrying partner
  • Using 2m distancing, enter Arch2 as directed by the leader
  • All kit is numbered. The leader will tell you which number to use, then select the kit you need with that number (e.g. spray deck, cag, paddle, BA) for paddling
  • The leader will record the kit numbers. If you come again, use the same numbered kit
  • Get one kayak down and put all your items in the cockpit
  • Take the kayak to the foreshore
  • Return to Arch2, do the same for your partners’ kayak
  • With both kayaks on the foreshore, prepare kit as follows:-
  • Take each item of kit out, separately spray with your cleaning spray and physically/mechanically wipe down all surfaces with your cloth. Put the cloth back in your bag
  • Wash your hands with your alcohol gel
  • Put on kayaking kit ready for paddling


  • Go paddling!
  • Remember while paddling:
    • No rafting up or sharing of food or drink
    • If you need to do a rescue it must be either a self-rescue or the swimmer needs to be towed to a beach
    • No assisted rescues allowed!

On Return

  • On return, remove all your kit on the foreshore
  • Take each kayak individually to the bottom of the slipway
  • Hose down and clean each kayak with the dirty brush
  • Take the kayak further up the slipway where a bucket of disinfectant solution will be available
  • Use the disinfectant solution to mechanically clean all kit: scrub down all kit, as well as cockpit rims and hatch covers
  • Return kayak & kit to Arch2 using correct exit/entry system
  • Wash your hands with your alcohol gel
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