Coastal Leadership

Guiding safely on the water


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aenean vitae tellus odio. Ut dignissim, dui eget viverra auctor, velit ligula fringilla lectus, eu fringilla ipsum ante in turpis. Nullam eget malesuada eros. Curabitur sodales lectus nec bibendum eleifend. Aenean at ipsum in elit suscipit mollis. Vivamus vestibulum erat mattis purus vulputate, interdum convallis orci mollis. Mauris dictum lorem sit amet ipsum dignissim, eu dapibus mauris lobortis. Nullam luctus elit in urna lacinia pellentesque. Curabitur semper nulla quis ipsum sollicitudin bibendum.

Module: Coastal Guide leadership

Training duration: 2 days

Syllabus Notes
  • Shore contacts & float plans

Candidate should be happy using a VHF radio to inform the coast guard of their float plan. They should also have an understanding of other available methods of raising outside assistance. If possible a shore party should be utilised and copies of float plans and client questionnaires be made available to this responsible party.

Because of the vulnerability placed upon sea kayaking groups when in danger, it is essential that commercial guides have in place safe measures to allow for the alarm to be raised by a third party. We call this the ‘Shore Party’ The shore party will hold the Float Plan, the client information sheets (PARQ) and will also know the appropriate actions to take in the event of the group not returning back on time or if in receipt of a distress call, be it through telephone, SPOT unit or by any other means.
  • leadership styles

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the use of appropriate leadership using a variety of styles to maintain good group control and motivation.

These styles are generally referred to as Autocratic, Democratic and laissez Faire. These styles should be looked at as being tools in the toolbox rather than defining characteristics of the leaders personal character
  • C.L.A.P.

Understand and be able to implement the CLAP process in advanced conditions.

CLAP is the pneumonic we follow to remind us of the leadership process.CommunicationsLine of SightAvoidancePosition
  • Feature Leadership

Demonstrate a variety of methods for leading an appropriate sized group, through the following environmental obstacles: Surf – Rock Gardens – Tide races & Overfalls – Open Crossings.

This may include: Shepherding, chain-linking, partnering and safe group positioning. Where necessary this may also include the appropriate use of an assistant or another suitable paddler utilised to maintain a safer environment.
  • Journey Leadership & Night Navigation

Leading a journey by assessing paddler’s performance and using appropriate styles.

Lead a group of paddlers at night or in darkness, showing good navigation skills, time appreciation and communication.

It is essential that the groups paddling performance is established prior to committing to an environment that may become excessively challenging.This should be achieved by carrying out an effective underpinning exercise establishing group skill levels and abilities.Leaders should also have thorough risk assessments as well as being able to conduct rolling dynamic risk assessments and also be able to convert to contingency plans if needed.Leaders should have a variety of effective control measures in place to lead an appropriate sized group at night time or during darkness and poor visibility.
  • Human Strategies & thought processes

Leaders should be able to control and follow a logical thought process under pressure.

Understanding the emotional effects of ‘Peer Pressure’ the physical and mental effects of ‘Adrenal Fix’ (fight, flight, freeze and avoidance) and being able to think and react organically throughout an incident is essential for group leaders, especially in advanced conditions or when presented with serious incidents on the water.
  • Operating Zones
Leaders should be able to show an understanding of the need not to overstretch clients in terms of abilities and emotional influences: Comfort zones, stretch zones and terror zone areas should be examined to ensure correct engagement of clients to risk and outcome is achieved.