What do you never do when you fall out of the raft?
What do you never do when you fall out of the raft?
Swim to the boat
Stand up in the river
Swim to shore
What is the answer? In this guide, you'll find it.
When considering a whitewater rafting trip, the first question you may ask is, "What if I fall out of the raft?" Whitewater rafting is an active participation sport with inherent risk, and it's important to realize that to enjoy the river fully, you need skills and knowledge.
River running is not a routine and predictable activity. The joy of whitewater sports begins with an attitude focused on avoiding problems. Ensure that the river's difficulty is appropriate for your skills and equipment.
Sometimes people end up out of the boat during a rafting trip. If you fall out, take an immediate and active part in your rescue and be aggressive.
If you end up near the raft, do the following:
Hold on to the paddle.
While in the river, try to hold onto your paddle so you have it when you return to the raft.
If you land a few feet from the raft, extend your paddle to the raft for extra reach so that someone in the raft may use it to pull you in.
Grab the raft.
Right after falling overboard, you may be able to reach the line of roping that goes around the sides of the raft and grab onto it as quickly as you can. Hold tightly, and people in the raft should immediately turn their efforts towards the rescue of you.
Grab the line facing the raft, and pull down on the lines as you pick yourself up and into the boat. A person in the boat can assist you by pulling with two hands on the shoulders of your PFD, or if your arms are down, they can grab you under your armpits to pull you in.
If you remain in the raft, here's how to help a swimmer back into the raft.
Position yourself, so you're stable and not at risk of falling into the water.
Extend your paddle to the swimmer carefully so the swimmer can grab hold of it and pull the swimmer toward the raft.
Remove any paddles from the way to prevent injury when the swimmer reaches the raft and tries to get back in.
Once the swimmer has both hands firmly gripping the safety rope, Lean over to grab the shoulder straps of the swimmer's PFD.
Use your entire body weight to pull the swimmer back into the raft while the swimmer pulls down on the lines and kicks to help make the process easier.
Face your raft during the rescue.
When your rescuer pulls you back into your raft, face your raft and your rescuer and make sure they pull you face-first, which lets you bend at your waist as they pull you over the raft's side. This method lets you see the rescuer, whom you can assist by grabbing ropes or something else to pull yourself. This position also makes it easier to kick in the water, which also helps you get on the raft. If you're not facing the rescuer or raft during your rescue, this will cause your back to arch awkwardly, and you won't be able to help by kicking or pulling.
Bring your legs up to the surface of the water.
If the current sweep you away from your raft, bring your legs immediately up to the surface and keep your body lined up with the current. Because the riverbed, which has narrow openings that can trap you, is far more dangerous than the waves at the surface. Bring your feet to the river's surface with your toes above it.
And you can slip by rocks without hitting them. Use your legs to absorb the impact from rocks. If the water is shallow, arch your back to keep your feet high, and always keep your feet near the surface. What do you never do when you fall out of the raft? The answer is to stand up in the river. Never try to stand up in water that is deep enough to float. If your foot gets caught, the water pushes your body over and can hold you underwater. Foot entrapment is extremely dangerous.
Point your feet downstream.
Your feet shouldn't just be above the water but also facing downstream. It would help if you also had your arms on either side of you, which would help you maneuver and slow down. If you're close enough to the raft, someone may extend a paddle to you, which you should grab. Then, face your raft and have them pull you up.
Look out for a rope.
If you've drifted away from your raft but are still within a 75-foot radius, look for the guide to throw you a rope. If someone does throw one, grab it, keeping it above your shoulders. As they pull the rope, face your back to the raft, which will prevent water from entering your mouth while they pull you.
Wait for calm waters before moving over.
If the rapids sweep you over 75 feet from your raft, you shouldn't try to swim in the rapid. Instead, stay calm and remain in the floating position discussed above. Keep in mind that a calm section follows every rapid. You can move to the shore when you reach one of these calm sections.
If you end up further from the raft, do the following:
You'll need to decide whether to get back to the raft or to swim to shore from the defensive swimming position on your back with your feet up.
You can evaluate what's next when you see a hazard to avoid or the calm water near the shore.
For safety angle, your body and backstroke to maneuver there in deeper and faster water. You may need to swim more aggressively to get out of the current and avoid hazards. Roll over on your stomach, use a crawl strip, keep swimming hard, and get out as quickly as possible on some types of rapids.
Paddlers position throw ropes for a little extra backup. If you get a rope thrown at you, grab it, then roll it onto your back. Hold the rope over the shoulder away from the thrower. It will swing you into shore quickly, do not hold the rope face-first you.
Falling out of the raft happens on most rafting trips.
Falling out of the raft is normal and happens on most rafting trips.
But remember that it'll be okay because you won't be left to fend for yourself. There will be an experienced guide who will help pull you back on board. The PFD used in whitewater rafting also has great flotation capability. In most cases, when someone falls off the boat, they are pulled back in immediately.
Listening to your guide can easily minimize your chances of falling overboard. When your guide tells you to grip the raft firmly with both hands, don't pull out your phone for what you think will make a great photo. The only thing you should be doing is holding on tightly.
Of course, sometimes, regardless of how tightly you hold on, your boat might flip over. This situation is also no cause for worry. Take action to rescue yourself by recalling what your guide taught you during the safety orientation, look out for instructions from your guide and a rope, and focus on getting back in the boat or swimming to the shore.