Safety Rules & Guidelines
All CKC members benefit through cooperation to ensure member safety and our kayak share program.
Please read the following carefully...
- Only paddle during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset).
- Safety vests must be worn properly when paddling.
- Do not kayak under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications that could impair your ability to safely return to shore.
- Do not allow non-members from using CKC equipment and do not share our access code. Failure to do so could result in club expulsion.
- Stay off or get off the water when small craft advisories are issued, in low visibility or when thunderstorms are forecast. Always check marine weather forecasts before launching and stay aware of incoming storm weather fronts while out paddling.
- Remember that you are expected to yield to all other vessels on the water.
— Assume they cannot see you.
— Large vessels are slow to stop or change heading. It may be impossible for them to avoid you, so it is imperative that you stay out of their way.
- Do not remove kayaks, paddles, or life vests from a docking station for any purpose other than kayaking directly in the adjacent waters. Transporting kayaks to other locations is strictly prohibited.
- Membership cards and photo ID must be present and available when using CKC equipment.
- Stay at least 100 feet away from Military vessels (e.g. Military Sealift Command or Ready Reserve Force ships). These are the large, gray-hulled ships docked at various locations such as Canton, Locust Point (near our Tide Point dock), and Port Covington (near our Nick’s Fish House dock).
- Follow the rules above without exception! Members in violation of any of these rules will forfeit their CKC membership privileges and dues.
- Paddle close to the shoreline – it will be easier for you to get to safety if you should flip over. If you need to cross, choose the shortest route to minimize your exposure in the channel, make sure there are no approaching boats, and cross quickly.
- Do not linger when paddling across the middle of the harbor channels.
- Stay clear of water taxis and water taxi stops.
- Paddle with a partner – this is particularly important if you are venturing out towards Fort McHenry, Hart Miller Island and other less populated areas. If you cannot paddle with a partner, let a friend know where you are paddling, and when you expect to return.
- Pack a safety kit containing a whistle, mirror, flashlight, sunscreen, water, and a snack. Purchase a dry bag for your cell phone.
- Dress in consideration of the weather and water temperature and NOT the air temperature.
For current weather forecasts for the Chesapeake Bay, check the National Weather Service (NWS) marine weather webpages for:
- ANZ538 – Patapsco River including Baltimore Harbor
- ANZ531 – Chesapeake Bay from Pooles Island to Sandy Point
- ANZ532 – Chesapeake Bay from Sandy Point to North Beach.
Consider using the application, Paddle Logger to automate your float plan.