Let Someone Know BEFORE You Go

When paddling on rivers, lakes and bays there is always an element of inherent risk due to the remoteness and the ever-changing environment. Even the most perfect looking conditions can change, causing a paddler to find themselves in need of assistance out on the water.

Best practice is to always paddle with others so there are is somebody around to help in times of difficulty or emergency. Of course, this will not always be possible, so it is of utmost importance that if you do paddle by yourself, let someone know your plans before you go.

It is essential to let people know the intentions of your paddling session or trip so that there is someone to raise the alarm should you get into trouble. Australian Canoeing (AC) recommends that for every paddling trip (not just solo paddlers), details of the participants and the trip should be lodged with a responsible person and/or authority. In the event of an emergency, a detailed description of the plans are readily available and can be used to assist emergency services. AC refers to this as a ‘Float Plan’.

In remote areas it is best to let authorities and land managers know of your trip intentions in the area. Supplying the local authorities your trip intentions is a good practice as well as letting them know you have completed your paddle trip at the end. In national parks, it is best to register you planned paddling trip with the local Parks Victoria office in the area.


  • Australian Canoeing Float Plan – See appendix D of the AC Safety Guidelines 2015.
  • Police trip Intentions form – Available here.
  • Register you trip with Parks Victoria parks office in the area – contact details are on their website.
  • Internet/ satellite Communication tracking systems such as ‘SPOT’ devices or ‘In Reach’ devices – you can buy these from specialist outdoors stores and also online.