Rafting and Kayaking Safety

“Mr. Cowdell and his staff assisted me with a problem I had. I called my previous Insurance agent (Name withheld) 2 1/2 weeks before my policy was up to re-shop because the insurer raised rates 23%. They said they would but no return call. I called Cowdell Insurance, and the staff went to work even though it was a Holiday weekend. Mr. Kim Cowdell spent over 4 hours on that holiday Saturday and resolved everything saving me $400.00 and a better policy. That is quality service. Thank You Cowdell Insurance.” —Paul B.


The appeal of river rafting and kayaking continues to grow among young adults, but these are not sports for amateurs. Calm waters can turn into raging rapids a half mile downstream.
If river rafting sounds interesting, sign up with friends for a professionally guided trip. You’ll discover how many precautions professionals must take to ensure the safety of their charges.

  • Be careful if you take off with friends.
  • Invest in good quality equipment. Inflatable rafts and toys made for pools are not suitable for moving water.
  • Wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) and protective headgear.
  • If rafting in cold water or snow melt, rent wet suits to keep warm.
  • Know the ratings of the rivers in your area. Begin with the easier runs.
  • If possible, drive downstream along the river beforehand. You’ll know what to expect along the way.
  • Kayak or raft in groups of at least two craft, never alone.
  • Secure your gear so that you won’t become entangled if you capsize.
  • While underway, pull ashore and walk ahead to examine rapids and trouble spots. If you have any doubts, carry your craft downstream.
  • Stay clear of tree overhangs, log jams, debris and other obstacles that water flows through rather than around. The current could pin you against them.
  • Avoid water near dams. Their currents could trap you underwater.
  • Learn the language and nature of flowing water. The current is faster on the outside of a river bend. A “V” in the water pointing upstream indicates a rock; a downstream “V” indicates a gap between rocks.

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