IMPORTANT INFORMATION - PLEASE READ
A separate consent form is required for each participating individual. Consent forms MUST be submitted to The Pirate Castle at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled start of the activity. Individuals will not be able to participate unless their consent form has been recieved.
Forms for under 18s must be completed by their parent / legal guardian. Adults may sign their own Consent Form. Schools / Community Groups should use the Group Consent Form and sign 'in loco parentis' when parental consent has already been provided for activities undertaken through the named school / community group.
Session Information and Kit List
The duration of all Paddlesport / Outdoor Education sessions includes a Bankside Briefing and Paddle Talk, getting all members of the group kitted out and into / out of their boats.
Participants must arrive promptly to ensure that activities commence at the scheduled start time and to ensure compliance with social / physical distancing requirements. Latecomers will not be admitted.
As our changing rooms and showers are currently closed in line with government guidelines, all participants must arrive in the clothes they will be paddling in. We recommend wearing layers of synthetic / fleece materials. NO JEANS or SWIMWEAR.
It is essential to wear suitable footwear for paddling, ideally an old pair of laced / velcro strapped trainers / wet shoes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. NO CROCS or FLIP-FLOPS.
Please also bring: A towel; a neck strap for glasses (if worn); a hat (sunhat or warm hat depending on the weather) and any required medication (be handed to the Lead Instructor at the start of the session).
Water quality and Weil’s disease
It is a common misconception that the canals and rivers around London are dirty and full of potential health risks due to water-borne contaminants. In fact, most recreational users (canoeists, kayakers, sailors, canal boat cruisers etc.) will use these stretches of water for many years without experiencing any ailments. However, it is important to understand that waterways / bodies of water can never be sterile environments and that, on rare occasions, people may become unwell due to water-borne contaminants or bacteria.
The Pirate Castle’s instructor team will always endeavour to avoid contaminated areas. We will never practice any skills, play games or splash about in areas identified as contaminated. Visible contaminants can be easily avoided whilst on the water. However, as unseen bacteria and microscopic contaminants may be present it is important that all participants take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of becoming unwell following water exposure.
Outlined below is guidance for minimising the risk of contracting Weil’s disease. Following these steps will equally reduce the risk of potentially contracting other water-borne illnesses.
To reduce the risk of becoming ill on water-based activities:
Cover ALL scratches / cuts / sores / skin affected by eczema with waterproof plasters;
Have a shower, or at the very least (and particularly whilst shower facilities are closed) wash your hands and face after each activity session and particularly before eating, drinking or touching your face. Hand sanitisers will be available on-site and soap and water will be available in WCs;
Avoid capsizing boats or splashing other participants / waterway users unless specifically advised by the instructor team i.e. during wet games;
Don’t put wet ropes or other objects in your mouth;
Don’t go paddling or get in the water without suitable footwear.
Weil’s disease or Leptospirosis is a VERY RARE illness. It is carried in the urine of infected animals, particularly rats. The main risk is that because it is so rare, doctors may not recognise it immediately. If you suffer from ‘flu-like symptoms, jaundice or conjunctivitis after you have been participating in water-based activities, you are advised to go straight to your doctor. Tell them you’ve participated in water sports and insist that they check for Weil’s disease and prescribe a suitable course of treatment.