Inuit for ‘Is Safe’

Sea Kayaks were developed by the Inuit- the original people to live in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Siberia and Russia. For 10,000 years the Inuit moved from Alaska towards Greenland. Over the last 4000 years throughout this vast area, tribes used the kayak as a major mode of transport and as a means to hunt and trade. Now sea kayaks are extremely varied and attract many people to the disciplines within the sport.

Surfski has grown in popularity throughout the northern hemisphere in the last decade. Originally designed for surf lifesaving and a hybrid of kayak and surf board. The craft has slowly evolved from big surfboards- propelled with a kayak paddle. Now surfskis- like most craft come in many different shapes and sizes and they can be found cruising estuaries, racing and/or surfing deep ocean swells.

Stand Up Paddleboard originated in Hawaii the same as traditional board surfing. Links have been found with places throughout Asia. Evidence has been found of SUP dating back 3000 years. Now SUP is massively popular due to its accessible and minimalist ethos. ANNAKTUK is relevant to SUP touring.

Ocean Canoe is also growing in popularity and many folks are dedicated to the ocean and the lifestyle which it offers.

Other craft include Prone paddleboard, foils, and dragon boat.


ANNAKTUK – The Symbol of Ocean Safety.

Promoting safety and responsible use of the ocean environment.

Paddlesports can be super safe, if undertaken in a smart way and it’s the opinion of some that the ocean is safer than land in many ways.

Stickers are available and the current price is

Small- Dia 120mm- £5.50 inc UK postage and a £2.00 donation to the RNLI

Medium- Dia 200mm- £7.50 inc UK Postage and a 2.00 donation to the RNLI

Large- Dia 300mm- £10.50 inc UK Postage and a 2.00 donation to the RNLI

To purchase please send the funds via PayPal stating what you would like in the notes section-

An Instagram account link is at the bottom of this page

Ocean Sports are never going to be 100% safe. The ocean is the most accessible extreme environment.

ANNAKTUK recommends the following as basic guidelines.



Fit for the environment

In good Repair

Visible upright and capsized

Has buoyancy if submerged either inherently or aided by air bags- foam etc

Can be emptied in open water by the paddler without requiring assistance from others

Leash advised for Surfski, SUP and OC

Paddling Kit

Fit for the environment

In good repair and fit for purpose

The paddler is Visible

Be warm/cool depending on the environment

The paddler has an accessible and useable knife and can free themselves/others from snags

The paddler is prepared for the conditions.

Cold: Able to be submerged and stay warm whether that means dressing for submersion from the outset or has accessible kit that can be put on whilst afloat- without landing or requiring assistance from others.

Heat: The paddler has the means to protect themselves from UV, hydrate, apply protection, the equipment is adequate to protect the paddler from UV/Heat. Able to change/be applied whilst afloat.

Be UV smart.

PFD’s are in good order, safety rated (where applicable CE marked). The PFD fit and are adjusted well.

Helmets worn within rocky zones if deemed necessary. Helmets are safety rated (Where applicable CE marked). The hemet fits and is in good order.


Float plan left onshore/ or someone has a detailed description of where you are going- including timings

A tracker is advisable in which people will be able to see your location (

The paddler carries a means of communicating with emergency services. The device/s are able to be operated with wet hands. The device/s are fit for the environment (Remote location, deep valleys, high cliffs) The Device/s should be carried on the paddler and not in/on the craft. A paddler should aim to be self sufficient and pro active if they were to be separated from their craft. Paddlers should have adequate training in order to operate their device effectively

Being able to communicate whilst in the water is important. Flare, light, mirror etc


Adequate fluids carried

Adequate foods/calories are carried to be able to energise and return home

Weather, conditions and planning

Weather forecasting is an important skill. Being able to understand the clouds and pressure systems is advised

Tidal navigation and planning experience and knowledge advised

Trips are suitable for individuals and groups partaking

Escape routes are known

A dynamic risk assessment can take place at any time, the plan can change and the ability to adapt to a different plan is important


Paddlers can self rescue and re-mount if needed, this has been practiced and mastered in the conditions in which the trip will take place

Solo paddling is always risky but paddlers have trained with others and feel comfortable entering particular environments/conditions by ones self

Physical Health

Paddlers are in good fitness and capable of undertaking the desired journeys

Paddlers have current experience and knowledge

Mental Health

Paddlers have an understanding of their own ability

Feeling able to undertake the trip and return safety.

Poor health has not effected judgement in any of the trip stages: Planning, Preparation, Paddling, Post Trip Admin

Paddlers can assess others and be able to make joint decisions

The ability to encourage, understand and support others adds to overall group safety

Mentorship and Coaching

ANNAKTUK encourages participation in personal coaching and taking part in skills and performance awards. Personal fitness and performance is essential to personal and group safety within the ocean environments.


Paddlers should always aim to have a positive impact on the environment- offsetting carbon and travelling, Collecting litter, leave only footprints- take only photographs. An environment should be in a better state when you leave than when you arrived if possible

Wildlife should not be disturbed and safe distances should be kept from birds, seals, whales and other wildlife. Of course if the wildlife approaches you- that is different.


Safety should not cause a barrier to having fun and venturing out on the ocean

Safety equipment and over packing can actually decrease safety. For example:

-A boat full of gear making it too heavy or safety gear you cannot use due to being un-trained or unable to access it.

-If the paddler wears too much and over heats in the summer and sweats too much in the winter (leading to serious temperature fluctuation, hyper/hypothermia).

-If the equipment hinders movement/balance and blocks your ability to self-rescue.

Displaying an ANNAKTUK symbol in no way confirms that you are safe but it shows that you do everything possible to keep yourself safe. The guidelines are just that, they are not rules or absolutes and of course there are variables and options.


British Canoeing Sea Kayaking Safety

International Sea Kayak Guide Association

Paddlelogger Live tracker. Your friends and family can follow your journey!

RNLI kayak/Canoe Safety Advice

RYA VHF Advice

Sea Rescue South Africa Surfski safety advice

Paddling Safety Precautions:





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