To all Downwinders in Adelaide.
Hi, I work in the Water Ops Unit in SAPOL as well as being a SUP user. I don't downwind yet, but I am aware that groups regularly organise to downwind and sort out lifts when the conditions are good. What you may not be aware of is the amount of calls we get from members of the public who see you guys out there and call us saying that some paddle boarders are in trouble. Now we generally accept that this is going to be some experienced paddle boarders downwinding, but of course there is always the concern that it is a genuine emergency.
Would it be possible for someone from the group to notify us in some way? I am thinking maybe a ph. call to Sea Rescue at West Beach, who run the marine radio station at from 0700 - 1900 every day. Then at least we would know someone was out there and if the sighting fitted in with the time and location of you guys then we can relax a bit.
It would also act as an additional safety for the group if you utilised their services in the same way that a lot of recreational boaties do. By that I mean let them know when and where you are leaving from and going to with your ETA. When you get there call them to cancel, if you don't call then they raise the alarm, after trying to phone you back first.
It still leaves the concern that the paddle-boarders the member of public may not be you guys, but we will risk manage that.
That be great idea John. Will do.
Thats interesting to hear.
It only seems to happen in winter when we do any runs further south ie O'Sullies to Moana. I guess we are easier to spot from the cliff tops then.
We will keep you guys in the loop.
I'm in Melbourne and when my DW group head off I call the water Police and let them know where and when we are starting and where we will be finishing and when.. and also how many in our group.
They really appreciate it because they get lots of calls like "I can see someone standing on what looks like an upturned boat and they are waving their arms in the air".. These concerned people are often very old and have never seen a SUP board or have very poor eye sight.
I try and get others to do it but they don't seem to care.
I will let Sea Rescue know that you guys are interested, give them time to brief their radio room, then I can give you best contact number.
Often the Water Police here will ask if someone could call them back at the end to let them know that all's ok.
We always try and buddy-up so no one's alone out there and besides a leash we always insist on a hi-vis top.
I watched another group of three head off recently and because only two had hi-vis top it really didn't take long before I could only see two out there.
Even I got a little concerned as I strained my eyes to see the third paddler.
Sea Rescue are happy to get involved. Their best ph. no.
Please log on and off with them. 2 x ph. nos if possible, departure point and time, destination and ETA and number of paddlers.
Give them a ring to log off when you are out of the water.