River Safety: River Signals and Communication

Disclaimer (Watch this Video First)

River signals vary depending on the type of boating you're doing and/or geographic location. The signals suggested in these lessons are commonly used but may differ from what you actually see in the field. It's always good to communicate with your boating partners about preferred signals before you launch.

Whistle Signals

One blast means "attention on me" and three blasts means "serious emergency."

Primary Hand Signals

The primarily used hand signals are for eddying out, direction, stopping, and check to see if people are okay (or ready).

Secondary Hand Signals

Some less used signals are for lost gear, first aid, flips, wraps, swimmers, wraps, and scouts.

Team River Signals

The group signals are used for checking to see if everyone is ready, more boat spacing, and less boat spacing.

Examples of On-River Communication

In this video, we will discuss and provide examples of good river communication.

Complete and Continue