Water Classification

In order to get your section on the water it is important, as with any activity, that you are aware of the rules

For any Paddlesport activity POR states:

‘All waters used for Scouting activities must be classified as C, BI, B2, B3 or A’.

What do these Water class definitions mean in practical terms?

Class C – safe inland waters, as defined in the fact sheet F5120623 Class C Waters

You do not need any formal qualifications to go on class C water. However you do need follow the rules as outlined on the above fact sheet, the main one being that you DO need your DC’s permission.

Class B1 – sheltered inland waters and other sheltered water where currents and tides create no real danger.

This level of water upwards requires you to have a permit, with technical paddling skills equivalent to British Canoeing 2* (plus 3* flat water skills) and equivalent to those in the British Canoeing Foundation and Safety Training Course.

Class B2– the sea up to one mile from the shore, but excluding more dangerous waters close inshore; more sheltered path of estuaries; large inland lakes and lochs; inland waters British Canoeing Grade 2.

As a guideline this permit requires you to have the technical skills, and experience, of an ‘old’ level 3 coach or ‘new’ 4* kayaker/canoe leader award.

Class B3 – the sea up to three miles from the share, but excluding more dangerous waters close inshore; busy commercial ports, exposed path of estuaries; inland waters British Canoeing Grade 3.

Class A – open sea more than three miles from the shore, and other dangerous waters close inshore; inland waters British Canoeing Grade 4 and above.

To get a permit for the last 2 classes of water you need the technical skills of a British Canoeing 5* award paddler.

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