Basic Water Safety Principles
Plan your trail rout in advance and adapt it to the skills of yours and your group. Remember that you will canoe in the pace of the slowest and the least experienced participants of the trip.
Don’t go on a trail during strong wind or heavy rain. When on trail, remember to watch the weather all the time. During a storm absolutely avoid open bodies of water and stopping under lone trees.
No matter how skilled you are, always wear a buoyancy aid. Beginners, people who can’t swim and children should be especially overwatched during the trip by experienced canoeists.
Get into the canoe when it is set with its bow up the river, and berth always upstream. Using the assistance of other people during getting into our out the canoe is something common during this kind of trips.
Canoeing across the river, pay attention to ripples, waves and whirlpools in its stream. Those may suggest underwater obstacles which may lead to canoe capsizal. Beware also riffles, low branches hanging over the water, low bridges and fallen trees.
Never make violent movements in it or flow, not even for a joke, on canoes of other participants of the trip. After capsizing in deep water, tow your canoe to the shore without turning it back over.
It is important not to be alone during an incident, so somebody could help you or call for help.
Always have a phone, protected against water, with numbers of rescue services that operate in a given area. Remember that many stretches of the trails have no places where you can charge your battery, and in deep river valleys there are often problems with mobile phone coverage.
Never drink alcohol or use narcotic drugs during a trip. It is a crime and it results in endangering the safety of yourself and other participants of the trip.
Take care of the environment you visit, don’t make noise, don’t destroy coastal vegetation and don’t litter.