Fun fact: Our heart and brain are 73% water; our lungs are 83%.
We are literally vessels of water paddling a vessel on the water. Perhaps that's why so many of us are drawn to this element. It is literally life-giving.
It is also life-taking. The largest risks come from complacency in the competent, lack of risk awareness in the beginner and insufficient rescue training/practice skills for both.
We imagine some dramatic Class V rapid being the end of a whitewater paddler but the reality is that the majority of deaths/injuries occur on Class II or less waterways. This is where we find the newest paddlers bursting with excitement to hit the river with their new gear. Their lack of river knowledge and pure unadulterated gusto often leads to dire consequences.
A good example of this is the paddle boarder who shows up at a “mellow” section of the Bow River. Board in hand, PFD on board not on the body, ankle leash securely strapped on and along with their friends also new to paddling they set off on an adventure.
Chatting, floating and immersed in their surroundings, suddenly one of them finds themselves going into a sweeper on the river. Unable to maneuver quickly enough they are knocked off their board and suddenly find themselves tangled on the log. Consequently, the board and ankle leash keep them pinned in the river current making it impossible to release the pressure and board. The friends watch helplessly as the person drowns.
The Swiftwater Rescue Training for River Runner is coming to Calgary! Geared towards just that; the recreational paddler. Learn how to identify and avoid hazards, rescue with minimal equipment and with resources you feel comfortable using to save a life maybe even your own.
Check out the latest upcoming course in Calgary on July 15/16, sign up online at Raven Rescue: https://www.ravenrsm.com/course/rescue-for-river-runners/