At SPC we actively promote safety while working to create an enjoyable environment for all SPC members and guests. Whether you're paddling your own boat or using club equipment, during practice or an officially sanctioned race, you must be vigilant and prepared for whatever comes your way on the water.
While paddling in the waters around Singapore is not known for being as dangerous as ocean paddling in other parts of the world, Singapore's local conditions present their own challenges, for even the most experienced paddlers. For starters, the weather conditions and currents around Sentosa and the nearby islands present unique risks and challenges which shift with the seasons, tides and times of the day.
On top of this, the straits around Singapore are some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. In this universe, small pleasure craft, kayaks, SUP's and ocean-going canoes have no rights of way and most accidents are attributed to carelessness and inexperience on the part of the paddler.
The guide below will help educate SPC members and guests about what each of us must do to ensure we're prepared for paddling at sea.
As we roll out new initiatives like the Ocean Paddling Certification program, we hope to make our sport more accessible, enjoyable, and most of all SAFE, for as many people as possible.
Do your part to practice safe paddling!
If you are looking for additional information, keep checking back here. We'll update this section with links and other material as we find it.
Rob Mousley's awesome post on everything related to safety while paddling. This is one of the best resources we have found if you're looking for gear, techniques, general information, on safety for big water paddling
Thanks to Alec Wing for sharing this. Always good to keep in mind!
Palawan Entry Traffic Pattern
This has made the rounds on our club WhatsApp group chat and email many times. This is how things are supposed to go when you exit and return to SPC via the gap at Palawan Island, Sentosa. The top part shows what NOT to do. The bottom part illustrates the proper traffic patterns.
Paddlers and pleasure craft are not allowed, under any circumstances, to enter areas marked on the map(s) below. The Marine Port Authority and Singapore Police Force will pursue violators and, in some cases, arrest and/or fine offenders for crossing into these zones, even in emergencies. Just don't do it.
Below is a close-up of the area around Sentosa and out to the East Coast of Singapore.
UPDATE: March 2021
There have been reports of paddlers being stopped by the MPA/SPF and told to turn back when attempting to cross the Keppel Fairway, past the White Buoy at the tip of Sentosa's Eastern edge. While this is not marked as a "Prohibited Area" on the maps below, paddlers should take note and be prepared to modify their route, if the MPA instructs them to do so.
Note that the areas marked as "... Fairway" on these maps are places you want to spend as little time as possible. These are shipping lanes, and you have NO RIGHT OF WAY versus ferries, container ships, oil bunkers, tug boats, pilot boats, or any other craft that is larger than you are.
While paddling alongside an island next to a Fairway (example: Sisters Fairway, next to Ammunition Island, or the Southern Fairway along the south end of St. John's and Lazarus Islands), you must stay as close to the shore and the side of the fairway as possible.
If you do plan to cross one of the fairways, be sure to check traffic in both directions before crossing. This is especially important in the channel between Sentosa and the Sisters Fairway, where high-speed ferries run (and it's not marked as a "Fairway").
Never underestimate how quickly an approaching vessel can bear down on you. If you have any doubt about whether you have time to cross, wait for the vessel to pass and double-check your clearance before attempting to cross.