The following safety information has been kindly supplied by RNLI:
Many of the incidents to which the RNLI is called are due to, or exacerbated by, inexperience and lack of training.
As boating and other watersports have grown in popularity, we have seen a lowering in the average level of knowledge among those who go to sea for fun. It is important that newcomers realise that they are entering an unfamiliar environment and that they need to get the appropriate level of training to allow them to fully enjoy the pleasures and challenges of their sport.
The best places to find suitable courses and qualifications for your sport are RYA (UK) and ISA (Ireland).