Safety Skills Courses Thames Skills and Knowledge (TSK)
The TSK1 course has been launched and piloted and more than 80 people have been trained to date. This course aims to provide a good knowledge of the main risks for people navigating the Thames in unpowered craft. It has been developed with advice and help from the Port of London Authority and all content has been agreed with the Assistant Harbourmaster responsible for sport and recreation. The course costs £45 for both parts and boards, paddles, wetsuits and buoyancy aids are avalable to participants.
The four hour course includes detailed information about tides and how they affect Thames users. Also wind effects and navigation rules for paddleboarders and other river users are covered. Risks such as being pinned by strong currents against moorings and pontoons and collision with other craft are covered, as are strategies for avoidance. The course is organised into two parts. Part A covers theory and is classroom based using slides to illustrate hazards, tide tables and internet resources available. Part B is carried out on water and aims to illustrate the risks discussed in Part A on the river. Participants are also expected to demonstrate a level of personal competence and confidence on the river and be able to paddle against the tide, carry out a self rescue, cross the river safely and turn effectively.
Although mainly aimed at paddleboarders this training also relevant to canoeists and one canoe club has been recommending it to members. Participation on this course is required by the PLA for anyone wanting to paddleboard downstream of Putney Bridge and above Chelsea Bridge. It is aimed at people who have some experience of SUP / canoeing on the Tideway but who want to expand their knowledge and paddle alone / in unguided groups (above Putney) or in small unguided groups (Putney – Chelsea Bridge).
More TSK1 courses are planned in 2016 and we would hope to train over 100 more people this year. The course is a requirement for all Active360 coaches.
We have also piloted TSK2 – a course which will allow competent and experienced paddleboarders to paddle unguided downstream to Tower Bridge in groups of 3 +. This is a 10 hour course in four parts. It covers specific risks downstream of Chelsea, dealing with a pinning situation, leading a group, egress points and specific hazards . There are 2 x 3hr on water sessions (one downriver of Putney) and 2 x theory sessions. TSK2 courses cost £85 for all four parts.
Dates for 2017 to be arranged soon.
Next TSK 1 - Dec 18th at BBA Kew Bridge 12-4.30pm