River Hazards and Safety on the Water While Canoeing | Canoe Technique

September 16, 2019 posted by


This episode of Paddle TV is brought to
you by the ACA—improving the paddlesports experience for over a century.
learn more at AmericanCanoe.org Flowing rivers offer some of the most incredible canoeing opportunities out there, but it’s important to understand that moving
water, even slow moving water, is a very powerful force. So before you take your
canoe into flowing rivers, it’s important that you know the potential hazards and
how to lessen the risk. First off, rivers can be expected to change dramatically
in character from season to season, and even from week to week. And so the first
safety issue is knowing what the level is that day, and how that will impact the
stretch of water that you’re hoping to paddle. Unless you know a river extremely
well, the best thing to do is to do some research online and check with the local
outfitter. It’s also important to keep your eye out for any warning signs, and
best of all, paddle with people who know the river well. One of the most common
natural hazards you’ll find on a flowing river are strainers. Strainers are
anything that let water through, but stop larger items, like people or canoes. The
most common strainers are trees that have fallen into the water, or logs that
have piled up over time. Strainers are extremely dangerous and should be
avoided at all times. One of the most common unnatural hazards that you’ll
find on some flowing rivers are low-head dams. In fact, low-head dams have been
responsible for an unfortunate number of fatalities over the years because they
often look safe. The reality though is you’ll always find a very powerful
recirculating current at the bottom of low-head dams which should be avoided at all costs. Finally, one of the most important hazards to be aware of on
flowing rivers which you can’t actually see, is the danger of a foot entrapment.
The foot entrapment is one of the most common causes of death in shallow moving water, because often people aren’t aware of the threat. What happens
is when standing up in shallow moving water, a foot can get stuck between rocks or anything else in the riverbed. If the current then pushes you over, it can be
impossible or almost impossible to get back up. Avoiding a foot entrapment is as
simple as not standing up in fast-moving water. Obviously, this doesn’t
cover all the hazards involved with taking your canoe on the river. The
bottom line is that flowing rivers are deceivingly powerful and should be given
the utmost respect. Well I hope you found this video helpful and if you did enjoy
it, please subscribe to our Paddling TV YouTube channel and stay tuned for lots
more canoeing tips and tricks.

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