2015 New York Safe Boating - 70
BOATING RELATED ACTIVITES
River running can provide extreme thrills, but may also
provide extreme danger. In the Northeast, there are several
fatalities among river kayakers and canoeists each year
the power of
After the snow
melts and the ice
thaws, or after
strong rains, the
rivers swell with
water and the
speed of the
Debris is flushed
into the water
as well, causing hazards that normally aren't present. Take a
few safety precautions to ensure that your river running trip
is safe and enjoyable.
water, tuck and reach forward and, with legs straight, push off
of the kayak with your hands as if removing a pair of pants.
Repeat this maneuver until you are comfortable with it. Most
kayaking deaths result from capsizing in cold water. If you
kayak in cold water, wear a wetsuit or drysuit, and a PFD.
Remember that fast water is often cold water, so be
prepared. Always wear a PFD and do not overload your
boat. Know the river before you go on it; walk along the
bank to scout rapids before attempting to run them. Know
where there are possible dangers. Beware of submerged and
overhanging branches (called "strainers"), submerged rocks,
and floating debris. Plan your route, know where the larger
drops are, and if necessary, portage around them.
Never boat alone; a three boat team is best. If you fall in
moving water, stay on the upstream side of the boat if
possible. Don't try to stand-your foot may become trapped
in a rock, and the rushing water could force you under.
Instead, float facing downriver in a sitting position with your
feet up. Use your arms and legs to swim out of the current
and into slower moving water and try to move toward shore.
If your boating goal is to see wildlife in the waters close to
home, or just to get a little fresh air and exercise on a sunny
afternoon, the fast-growing sport of kayaking might be for
you. Kayaks can handle the wind and waves on open waters
from rivers to fresh water lakes to the sea coast. Kayaking
can be quiet and serene, or quite challenging. All kayaking
requires proper training and good judgment.
When paddling, keep your arms and elbows down and relaxed
as much as possible. Keep the paddle shaft close to the deck.
Avoid letting the returning blade get high in the air where the
wind can grab it. Reduce your fatigue by using many muscle
groups-rotate your shoulders and upper body at each stroke.
Keep your eye on the blade as you pull it (pushing with the
off-side hand) through the water. Lean over on the paddle
There are kayak symposiums and kayaking schools across
the state. Dealers or local clubs sometimes offer kayaking
instruction, including intensive instruction from experts on all
aspects of paddling. Take a beginning whitewater kayaking
course to learn basic boat handling skills. Most paddling skills
are easy to learn, but kayaking requires you to be in good
health and good physical condition-and be able to swim.
While paddling it is recommended that you wear your
PFD. You are required to have a whistle or other efficient
sound producing device. At night you are required to have
a flashlight or lantern to show in sufficient time to prevent
collision. It is also recommended you carry a hand pump
or bailing device and a spare paddle for emergencies. You
Capsizes are relatively uncommon, but all paddlers must
learn how to turn over and get out of the boat (referred to
as a "wet exit"). In a pool or near shore with a friend, enter
your boat, and turn the boat over. While upside down under