"Inflatable canoeing I would suggest is safer than other forms of canoeing for a number of reasons, though the risks of rivers should never be under-stated. This accident report pertaining to the death of an 18 year old girl on a NZ grade 2 river highlights the negative perception attached to rivers. There are several important facets to safety on the river:
1. Awareness of river conditions - Research is required before entering a river. Most Western countries have a canoe guide, i.e. Whitewater NZ is available in most NZ libraries. Similar guides are available in other countries or states.
2. Awareness of river hazards - do you know where the difficult rapids are? Do you know the latest warnings? Has the river been in flood, perhaps presenting new risks after boulders or logs have moved? If you are unsure of how rivers work, you are less likely to anticipate risks.
3. Awareness of how river hazards or risk vulnerability can change - The river is a dynamic system; it is always changing. The changes can be gradual (as under normal water flow) or rapid (as in cases of flood), so if you are considering canoeing after a long time or after flood, you should consult local canoe groups, or scout rapids for risks.
4. Preparedness for conditions - Has there been a river flood lately? Do you know the river height, and how changes in river height impact the river.
5. Support in case of mishap - good if you have a cell phone or ready access to a road"
Read more from this article. Safety on river
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