Safe River Procedures

A guide for a safe yet fun river trip

Preparing to raft

When planning an adventure on a river for this late spring/ summer the last thing you will be thinking of is the risks involving doing an extreme sport. Do not be alarmed, at Colorado River Rentals, safety is key when participating in awesome adventures.

Safety equipment:

Most importantly life jackets! When properly worn correctly they will safe your life. Also keep helmets, ropes, a river knife and a first aid kit nearby.


Scouting or examining the rapids before running them is crucial to familiarize oneself with the stream and anticipate the challenges. This is especially important during flood conditions when the highly increased flow have altered the normal conditions drastically. The more the better when it comes to rafting trips.

Reading the River:

It is important to learn how to read the river when rafting without a guide. Take into consideration eddies, turns in the river, shallow water and obstacles such as rocks, strainers or sieves.

Strainers and sieves can pose a particular hazard. If the sieve is visible above water, a boater can be pinned against it and may eventually be forced underwater as the current passes through. If the sieve is completely submerged, it is especially insidious because it may not be discernible at all. In shallow water, bows of boats can get caught in submerged sieves, as the current pulls the nose down below the rocks where it can lodge. If this happens, it is likely that the whole boat will get pulled under water.

Emergency Situations:

Staying in the boat, holding the paddle correctly, things such as these can avoid a possible accident. But, sometimes accidents happen. If you or a friend fall out of the boat, please stay calm. Here is the list what to do:

  •  Always only point a swimmer to safety. Never point to an obstacle.
  • Paddle the raft toward the swimmer while not putting you or your fellow rafters in danger
  • Pull the swimmer back into the boat by the top of their life jacket

If you are the one that falls out of the boat:

  • Assume the safe water swimming position: feet in front of you, arms as oars out to your sides and head above water.
  • Pat your head 3 times to let your guide boat know you are safe.
  • Never swim to the downstream side of the boat, it could pin you against rocks or the current can pull you under.

Overall, have fun on the water and keep these safety procedures in mind!

Get Gear