SAFETY WHEN ON THE WATER

  • Canoes should be in good condition, fitted with adequate buoyancy and have end ropes or handles for lifting.

  • Paddles should be in good condition.

  • In summary, always canoe with an experienced canoeist/leader, wear an appropriate Personal Flotation Device, plan your trip well and make sure that your equipment is in top condition.

  • Canoeists on moving water should wear approved helmets and be strong swimmers.

  • Ensure your gear (food, clothing, tent etc is waterproof).

  • The canoe group should be equipped with a spare paddle/s, throw line, repair tape, means of lighting fire, survival kit, spare food, map of the area and a first aid kit. Always canoe with others.

  • Always wear and approved buoyancy vest (Personal Flotation Device - Type 2). Suitable protective clothing should be worn or carried to protect against sun, wind and cold water.

  • Join a canoe club or attend Board of Canoe Education courses to improve your skills.

  • Learn capsize skills, rescue work and first aid to better prepare for emergencies.

  • In the event of capsize keep calm and alert, stay on the upstream side of your canoe, assist your partner, follow rescuers instructions, leave your canoe if it improves your safety; if swept into a rapid, swim down feet first on your back, keeping your head clear of the water, and if you are the rescuer, go after the crew first - the canoe can wait until you and the crew are safe.

  • Always allow time to reach destination in daylight hours.

  • Pass on signals, point out obstacles and try to prevent others repeating your mistakes on the river.

  • Make sure that others know your whereabouts, so in case of emergency details of your trip can be forwarded.

 

In summary, always canoe with an experienced canoeist/leader, wear an appropriate Personal Flotation Device, plan your trip well and make sure that your equipment is in top condition.

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