Chas Jones, Ph.D.

River Safety

River Safety

These are some of the safety points that I like to cover during pre-paddling river trips with friends, family, & others. Here’s a more comprehensive list posted by NRS.

It may be worth checking out my River Trip Checklist too.

Talking Points

  • Group participation
  • Leader is benevolent dictator
  • PFD, helmet, footware
  • Hand signals (OK, help, point positive)
  • Common voice commands
  • High side
  • Whistle
  • Paddle safety
  • Unexpected swim (Head up, toes up, feet forward, extend reach with paddle, foot entrapment)
  • Throw ropes
  • Proper aid to swimmer entering boat
  • Avoid strainers
  • How to enter (wash feet) or leave (secure boat, life jackets, helmets) the boat
  • Boat proximity (within visual; interpret hand signs; 5 or 6 boat lengths)
  • Boat order (Lead boat, sweep boat, do not let any boat fall behind the sweep boat)
  • Using bathroom in river
  • Glass in river
  • Sharing food / germs
  • Heat exhaustion / dehydration
  • Hypothermia
  • Poision oak &  snakes
  • First aid kit location
  • Alcohol / drugs
  • Life jacket / helmet fit

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