Safety at sea
Boater, kayaker or diver?
Following are a few safety tips for your activity at Forillon National Park:
Check the coastal weather and hours of high tide
Weather conditions can change quickly on the waters around Forillon; for example, wind and fog can arrive quite suddenly. Tides can also cause currents that can be difficult to fight against.
Be aware of potential risks and prepare yourself accordinglyAround the park, there are fishing lines and devices, such as long floating lines that are attached to lobster cages. There is also shipping traffic, such as cruise ships, fishing vessels etc. The coasts of Forillon include reefs and shoals, particularly in the Cap-des-Rosiers and Cap-Bon-Ami beach sections, as well as at Cap-Gaspé and the Penouille section (sandbanks). Finally, even on a beautiful sunny day, do not forget that the water is still cold!
Tell someone about your activity
Where possible, do not conduct your activity alone. Tell someone about your start and end points, as well as your return time.
Follow the safety tips and regulations associated with your activity
Dress appropriately, bring all necessary safety items and know how to use them in case of an emergency. And do not go beyond your limits!
Specific tip for sea kayaking
In addition to following the usual marine safety instructions, do not forget that, at Forillon, the shore is not accessible everywhere.Before you set out, ask a member of the park staff about those areas where you are allowed to come ashore. In addition, the wind and currents can be very strong (particularly near CapGaspé) and can cause you to drift into open waters.
It is prohibited to accost or travel on the shore below the cliffs between the south-east extremity of the Des-Rosiers campground beach and the “Le Rocher” rock. Finally, even if the sea is calm, waves produced by ships can overtake you in a kayak!
Specific tip for diving
In addition to following the usual safety instructions associated with this activity, do not forget that the rocks along the seashore are often very slippery due to algae. In addition, at several locations in the water, there are commercial fishing devices, such as ropes and nets, not counting the boats that circulate within the park's boundaries.
Swimmer at Penouille
In addition to following the usual safety instructions for swimming, remember that:
- the beach is not supervised
- the depth of the water can vary from one area of the beach to another;
- if sandbanks are accessible at low tide, some will no longer be at high tide, something to which you will need to pay attention with children;
- kite-surfers and other craft can surprise you while swimming, so keep your eyes open and stay visible.
- Note that swimming is not recommended near the floating wharf and prohibited in the marsh.
Find out more about planning an activity at sea and what to bring on the AdventureSmart website.