While on the water…

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Besides just taking photos and watching the canyon go by, here are a couple of things to rememmber while on the water…

Avoid entanglement. Avoid loose lines and loops in or on the boat. Tend the lines and keep them tight. Don't tie yourself in.

Keep the boat's straps buckled and shipshape. Double check your tie-downs - tie down everyday as if you expect to flip. Last minute distractions can lead to missing gear in the morning tie-down. If you get on a boat to remove something and you unbuckle a strap to get the gear, buckle the strap back up. It is common river running courtesy to advise others if you have in fact loosened up something from another's boat.

The patient rigger.jpg

Unless pre-arranged, everyone should leave camp in the morning at the same time. It doesn't pay to rush folks who are still checking their load and rigging their boat.

Know where the rescue throw cushion and throw bag are on the boat. Practice throwing the throw bag to see what is involved.

It is important that boatfolks teach others about eddy lines, and what to expect if they swim.

Boat flipping can sometimes be avoided with a technique called high siding. When a raft hits a rock or wall or big wave, the side hitting the object typically goes up…up…up and over. Quickly shifting one’s weight to the high side can, at times, prevent a flip. High siding may need to be done quickly. Be careful not to blindside anyone else sitting next to you when you high side. On rare occasions, the high side can quickly become the low side, and you may need to move from side to side. Passengers in the front of the boat can help by pushing yourself into the front of the boat to either plow through something, or if the front of the boat is coming up, you can climb the front tube to prevent an "endo" where the raft flips end-for-end.

Another rule of thumb to remember is that when planning your trip, try under all circumstances to not end your day late with a major rapid yet to run, when folks are tired or something can happen and you go into darkness with swimmers and a flip on your hands.

Click here to return to the River Safety page.