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What to do if you fall out of the raft while rafting

River rafting is one of the adventurous recreational activities to be enjoyed with family and friends. Rafting involves risks and dangers, so one must follow the safety tips to gain a safe and an enjoyable rafting experience. Continue reading this article to know more about rafting, rafting safety tips, and ideas on what to do if you fall out of the raft while rafting.

What is rafting?

Rafting is a challenging and a risky competitive water sport in which the rafters have to navigate on river rapids using an inflated raft. It is generally a racing sport conducted in different formats with a set of rules in most of the countries around the world. Either a team or an individual can participate in the sport. The raft which reaches the finishing line first is declared as the winner. Rafting is conducted for both men and women of different age groups.

Whitewater rafting or river rafting generally involves several levels of difficulty termed as 'grades' depending upon the degree of the rapids, size and type of the waves, the temperature of the water, remoteness and the dangers involved. Totally white water rafting includes 6 grades starting from Type 1(simple) to Type 6(very dangerous).

River rafting is also considered as one of the popular recreational activities where the non-swimmers, non-rafters and even children can go for rafting and have fun after listening to the rafting instructions from the professionals or organizers. Before going for rafting, each and every individual will be provided with a life jacket, helmet, paddles, and rescue throw bags for safety. A raft can accommodate nearly 7 to 8 members, so the interested people can go as a team and gain fun-filled rafting experience.

Rafting safety tips- Do's and Don't s

Rafting involves some serious risks and environmental dangers such as undercut rocks, fallen trees on the way, heavy water flow, etc. Sometimes human behavior may also lead to a danger. So, before rafting one should have a basic knowledge of the safety tips and instructions on what to do and what not to do while rafting. Generally, a guide who knows rafting and first aid safety tips will accompany you while rafting.

Listed below are some of the rafting safety tips one must follow while rafting to avoid unnecessary risks and dangers caused by human activities.

What to do while rafting

  1. Wear a life jacket and buckle it properly. Make sure the jacket fits you perfectly. You can get the help of your guide while selecting a jacket.
  2. Wear a helmet to protect yourself from getting hit on the rocks or from the paddles of the one sitting behind or in front of you in the raft.
  3. Avoid wearing cotton clothes and most importantly try to wear a cloth that dries quickly.
  4. Wear perfect and proper shoes that are recommended for rafting. It is a strict no to slippers, flip flops or bare feet.
  5. Listen to your guide carefully and follow their instructions to keep yourself safe.
  6. Without any hesitation, notify your guides in case of an emergency or medical conditions.
  7. To protect yourself from sunburns, you can use sunscreen and sunglasses.
  8. Follow the navigation commands of your river guide.
  9. Paddle together with your companions by holding the paddle properly.
  10. Leave all your valuables in a safe place on the land or any safety locker provided by the organizer.

What not to do while rafting

  1. Do not remove jacket and helmet in any situation.
  2. Do not cross the safety line and strictly avoid keeping your feet outside the raft.
  3. Do not tie any rope around your legs, waist, neck or arms.
  4. Do not engage in any water fights or any other fun activities while rafting.
  5. Do not jump or dive into the river from the raft without the permission of your guide because not all rapids are safe.
  6. Do not stand up in the raft while rafting.
  7. Avoid using your paddle as a splashing device or for any other fun activity.
  8. Do not push and play with your companions in the raft because it may disrupt the balance of the raft.
  9. Do not try to touch the rock or pull the branches from the trees while rafting.
  10. Do not consume alcohol or drugs before rafting.

What to do if you fall out of the raft while rafting?

If you fall out of the raft while rafting, you should remember to follow several important things mentioned below to stay safe.
  • Stay calm. Do not panic. The rescue team will take necessary steps to help you.
  • As soon as you fall, your life jacket will bring you to the surface of the river. Just float on the river with your back and immediately extend your feet in front of you.
  • Try to hold the safety rope tied around the exterior of the raft to avoid moving far away from the raft.
  • Remember to hold the paddle tightly because the paddle is one powerful weapon through which you can get help by extending it to other rafters sitting in the raft.
  • If you are a swimmer and if you fall at a distance of one or two meters away from the raft, then you can swim to the raft if the river current is weaker. Never try to swim if the river current is stronger because you cannot swim in faster current and it may also lead to severe injury.
  • Do not try to stand in a rapid because chances are there for your foot to get caught in the rock or you may slip in the water.
  • Remember to follow the instructions of your guide. Swim in the direction where your guide points to.
  • If your guide throws a rescue throw bag at you, grab that carefully and put it over you as per the instructions provided.

Strictly follow the safety tips and instructions to gain a safe and an enjoyable rafting experience.
Be safe! Have fun! Create memories!

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