Sea kayak regulations in France

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Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby Jersey Kayak » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:35 am

If you are planning a sea kayaking trip in France it helps to know the rules and regulations, these are different to the UK

Here is a useful English summary and advice written from a British perspective. http://ocean-kayaking.net/?page_id=91
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby Jurassic » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:49 am

Thanks for posting Jersey Kayak, that's very interesting.
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby nigelhatton » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:45 pm

I spent about 5 months of the summer paddling the south coast of France and never had a problem until one day.
I paddled out of the port of Sete into a westerly 30kmh wind and large swell, fantastic for surfing a sea kayak and a bit of sightseeing from 2 kms out. I have never seen other kayakers out that far and I often wondered why.

On my return to Sete harbour a motor vessal came from behind and called out of the loudspeaker"Kayaker, Kayaker arret, arret maintenont, meaning kayaker stop now.

One of the local pilots aboard told me no kayaks can go more than 300 metres from the port, beachor point of safety return. I asked why, all in French. He said it's not allowed for any kayak, canoe,row boat to go past 300 metres because the law in France say so, unless I had a radio, 3 hand flares, bouyancy aid,extra bouyancy in the kayak so it can't sink. I said I have all of those and sea kayaking qaulifications, excellent fitness, bomb proof roll.

I returned to my base and then checked on the internet about all these French rules, they do exist and even for someone with all the required kit they still cant go more than 6 knautical miles.

I came back 5 days later and paddled in Torbay then we all know what happened.
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby Oarsome » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:10 pm

So much for France. I'll stay away with my boat.
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby Seadog » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:41 pm

Do not get me started on French rules and regs - they are currently behind some new EU motorcycle proposals which will make manufacturer fitted compulsory ABS and anti-modification regulations. Because the manufacturers always get it right for every application! Also the prob is you can never be sure if they will enforce their regs or not (seems quite random).
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby mduncombe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:01 pm

vive la liberté
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby PeterG » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:15 pm

Pagayeursmarins http://www.pagayeursmarins.org/ have lots of detail as it is they who campaign on behalf of French kayakers and have succeeded in getting sea kayaks recognised as vessels not beach toys. Look under PAGAIE SALEE to see all copies of their newsletter, except the most recent one, for which you have to be a member. This has details of access agreements to various sensitive (military, large ship movements and port traffic, environment) stretches of water as they are negotiated.

In general the regulations are nothing to be frightened of. Good seamanship is appreciated on both sides of the Channel.

Note that sea kayaks have to be more than 4m long and sea kayak shaped to qualify for the 6nm limit. The paddle boarders and SOT are trying to get another class recognised with a 0.5nm limit to help with their angling and estuary crossing ambitions. If this is agreed, shorter GP kayaks would probably qualify for the 0.5nm limit. The lifeboats and coastguards are not keen on the change as most call outs are to these craft within their current 300m limit. Pagayeursmarins is worried that more call-outs to this group might have a bad effect on the public conception of sea kayaking as a safe and responsible activity.
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby garya » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:54 pm

What would be the penatly for not fully complying with rules, ie no colregs sticker on the boat or only 2 x flares.

Would they issue you a warning notice or more seriously impound or confiscate your kit.

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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby horis karloff » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:04 pm

Personally I think there should be a minimum of regulation in this country for anyone wanting to paddle on the open sea past a certain distance. I think seat belt laws are right, motorcycle helmet laws are right and almost anything that can save lives on the sea. An absolute minimum should be that everyone on the sea should be compelled to wear a bouyancy aid. I think it's wrong that lifeboats should be called out to inexperienced small boat/kayak canoes users in general that do not have skills to cope in even slightly challenging conditions.

Most people know who I am and what happened to me in Torbay when hit by a speedboat/RHIB. This has reinforced my belief that because the UK is one of the few countries that let just any Joe Bloggs take out any pleasure craft there will be deaths and more terrible accidentsin the future.

I certainly don't like regulation imposed on us by this government and one reason why me and many others paddle is so that we can get away from all the agro on shore and go almost anywhere we like and at peace with ourselves. Within the next few days there will be another story about a kayaker getting into trouble somewhere round our shores, maybe it could be avoided.
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby Mark R » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:48 pm

horis karloff wrote:Most people know who I am and what happened to me in Torbay when hit by a speedboat/RHIB. This has reinforced my belief that because the UK is one of the few countries that let just any Joe Bloggs take out any pleasure craft there will be deaths and more terrible accidentsin the future.


Nigel Hatton - didn't you just ask us to remove references to your accident, so it wouldn't interfere with your court case?

You can't have it both ways...
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby sleepybubble » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:37 pm

Mark R wrote:
horis karloff wrote:Most people know who I am and what happened to me in Torbay when hit by a speedboat/RHIB. This has reinforced my belief that because the UK is one of the few countries that let just any Joe Bloggs take out any pleasure craft there will be deaths and more terrible accidentsin the future.


Nigel Hatton - didn't you just ask us to remove references to your accident, so it wouldn't interfere with your court case?

You can't have it both ways...


Horris Korloff = Nigel Hatton, how strange. I really dislike the Korloff persona and tut a lot at his posts, but I had quite warmed to Nigel Haton and his cheerful friendly advice. It never occurred to me that this forum might suffer from sock puppets.

Mark
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Re: Sea kayak regulations in France

Postby sleepybubble » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:09 pm

sleepybubble wrote:
Mark R wrote:
horis karloff wrote:Most people know who I am and what happened to me in Torbay when hit by a speedboat/RHIB. This has reinforced my belief that because the UK is one of the few countries that let just any Joe Bloggs take out any pleasure craft there will be deaths and more terrible accidentsin the future.


Nigel Hatton - didn't you just ask us to remove references to your accident, so it wouldn't interfere with your court case?

You can't have it both ways...


Horris Korloff = Nigel Hatton, how strange. I really dislike the Korloff persona and tut a lot at his posts, but I had quite warmed to Nigel Haton and his cheerful friendly advice. It never occurred to me that this forum might suffer from sock puppets.

Mark


Of course now having done the due searches on both persona's I'm quite appalled. I do hope that what was in the past is in the past. The swanage race stuff looks horrendous.

Btw I like baguettes and Brie, just to get slightly back on topic....

Mark
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