WesCom Signal and Rescue urges paddlesport enthusiasts to take extra care on the water during Covid-19 Pandemic

WesCom Signal and Rescue, a global supplier of marine distress signals, is urging the public to take extra care of personal safety on the water this summer. The company’s announcement follows the RNLI’s recent safety warning to remind people that lifeguards are not on duty and rescue services may be under strain due to the Coivid-19 pandemic.

With many chandleries set to re-open on 15th June 2020, WesCom Signal and Rescue is encouraging paddlesport and personal watercraft (PWC) enthusiasts to consider purchasing suitable life-saving equipment before going out on the water.


Chris Feibusch, Director of Global Marketing and Communications at WesCom Signal and Rescue says, “We’re all concerned with personal safety at the moment, but we shouldn’t just be thinking about keeping ourselves safe from Covid-19. With the incredible weather we’ve seen recently it can be all too easy to forget how unpredictable and dangerous the UK’s waters can be, even when conditions appear perfect. Safety should always be a top priority when heading out on the water, but with no lifeguards on patrol, it matters more than ever.”


According to the RNLI, during the first weekend of eased restrictions, coastguard rescue teams were called out almost 200 times to incidents involving in-shore activities we largely consider safe, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Paddlesports have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years – with over 1.9 million people in the UK trying canoeing and paddleboarding – but many people are inexperienced on the water and unaware of the essential safety equipment they should be carrying.


With pyrotechnics remaining the most recognised distress signals in the world, WesCom Signal and Rescue is encouraging paddlesport and PWC enthusiasts to carry a Pains Wessex Mini Flare Kit or Handsmoke whilst out on the water to ensure they can be found quickly in the event of an accident or emergency.


Pains Wessex Mini Flare kits are ideal for paddlesport and activity as they offer a compact, yet powerful alternative to those found on commercial ships. Each kit comes with a number of flare cartridges and a firing mechanism, enclosed in a compact, water-resistant case. When fired, the flares rise to a height of 46 metres and can be seen by five miles during daylight hours and ten miles at night.


A Pains Wessex Compact Lifesmoke is designed to be easy and safe to handle. The Lifesmoke is a handheld marine distress signal that produces dense orange smoke for three minutes to indicate position and wind direction. Retails at around £45 for the Compact (3 shot) version and around £60 for the Personal (9 shot version).

Chris Feibusch adds, “We always recommend carrying more than one safety device to increase your chances of raising the alarm and getting found in an emergency. Pyrotechnics are unique as they don’t rely on battery power or electronics, can’t be extinguished once ignited, perform reliably after submersion in water and can withstand extreme environmental weather conditions.”


Other safety advice from WesCom Signal and Rescue includes:

  • Wear a personal floatation device (PFD)
  • Never leave home without a signalling device
  • Check weather conditions and tide times
  • Always tell someone where you are going
  • Know your limits


To learn more about these products, WesCom Signal and Rescue has developed comprehensive training animations, which can viewed and downloaded via the WesCom websites, to assist with understanding and training: www.painswessex.com/videos-and-animations.


For further information about WesCom Signal and Rescue, please visit: www.wescomsignal.com.