Paddling in the Dark

Now its late Autumn / early Winter, early mornings are dark and the evenings by 5pm or earlier. It’s essential at these times, or any time of bad visibility, to have lights on your boat.

Here are some of the points to bear in mind:

  • When paddling in the dark you should aim to have all round white light – constant, NOT flashing
  • either white light on your head with 360 view or white light on the front and rear deck each with 180 view
  • The idea of this light is to be visible, not to see by
  • If the light is too bright it will effect your night vision or the vision of those around you/in your boat
  • To be safe, wear bright neon colours – bright hats, clothing and reflective strips – particularly at dusk, it helps enormously to be visible
  • Use lights in foggy or misty conditions, too


Please see the Thames Navigation Licensing and General Bylaws 1993 for full requirements (page 8)