Tuesday, 10 November 2015

RNLI / SWKA Training Day | Grant Harris

The South Wales Kayak Anglers (SWKA) was formed in 2009 when a group of like-minded guys with a passion for fishing got together at a local pub for a chat.
Six years later, the SWKA is boomings and is in fact the only officially run Kayak Angling Club in the UK.

Myself and a dozen other members of the SWKA arranged a demonstration morning with our local RNLI, to go through what we Kayak Anglers actually do when out and about on the water.
Really key points for them included how we set our anchors up, how we do self rescues, and for us we learned what we can do (if anything) to keep our selves and others safer when out at sea.

On a lovely sunny Sunday morning in Barry, we all met down the beach around 09.30. It was good to see so many of the guys turn up, with kayaks of all colours and size.
All of us had our usual dry suits and PFDS on, and prepared ourselves to spend a bit of time in the water as well as on it.

After a few minutes of banter with each other on the beach, the RNLI boat came into view. We dragged our kayaks down to the waters edge, and were meet by the small RNLI rib and it's crew. After a quick briefing from them, and making sure we were all on the same radio channel, we got our kayaks ready and paddled out to the larger RNLI boat which was anchored further out in the bay.

Dave volunteered his services for the self rescue demo, and Phil paddled off to show how we anchor up in a couple of different ways. The RNLI seemed impressed, as most of us had a good understanding of what we should be doing, how to do it, and what to do if it goes wrong.

Soon it was time for me to practice my self rescue technique, with a little help of Colin ("Chick") who helped me off with a gentle shove. So glad I had my drysuit on while bobbing around in the Barry sea. It took me two attempts to get back on first time, but on the third time I nailed it.

After about an hour or so the tide turned and there was a litte chop on the water, with a small wave braking on the beach. A few of us went for a play in the surf, while the rest of the group made their way back to the beach.

We had a few photos taken for the SWKA web site, and all went back up to our car for a coffee and a chat.

All in all a fantastic day!

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