Reading Water: Recognizing Hazards 101
Recognizing Basic Hazards
In this video, we'll cover the basic hazards you will encounter on the river: hitting rocks sideways, wood, and man-made objects. Always be on the look out for hazards while paddling in moving water.
Hitting rocks can be an inevitable part of boating. But rocks are only hazards in whitewater if we hit them the wrong way
- Avoid hitting rocks sideways which could cause a potential flip or wrap
- If sideways to a rock, be prepared to "high side" and push the downstream tube back towards the water
- Otherwise, hit rocks straight on with the bow or stern of the boat
Wood should be avoided at all costs when on the river
- People can become entrapped by multiple snag points
- Sharp points can cause boat damage
- Bundles of debris and logs in the river
- Fallen trees
- New wood from high flows (especially in Winter and Spring)
Man-made objects should also be avoided at all costs
- They can form perfect hydraulics with no exit, recirculating swimmers or equipment
- They are often full of snag hazards, rebar, and materials that can cause injury
Common man-made objects on rivers include:
- Bridge pylons
- Concrete blocks
- Low head dams
- Fish ladders
Activity: Find the Hazards!
Find the hazards in these clips, then we will discuss each one.