Safety on the Water

IMG_8902Georgia Whitewater rafting was recognized by the 1996 Summer Olympics event along Ocoee River. Whitewater rafting is a sport that is inherently dangerous. Following a few safety tips helps your trip be one in you will celebrate memories and avoid injuries. TheOcoee River, while offering a great thrill ride, can potently be dangerous if precautions are not considered. Whether you are a novice or expert rafter it is always encouraged to listen carefully to your guide.

What can I do to ensure safe whitewater rafting:

  • Select a reputable rafting company. Do your research to ensure that you and your family are in the hands of experienced and trained guides.
  • While most outfitters offer the safety equipment you will need, it is not a bad idea to inquire ahead of time.
  • Wear a lifejacket that will keep you afloat in the event you are thrown overboard as you pass rapids. It is important that your lifejacket fit properly; it should be snug, but not tight. If you jacket does not fit properly it might slide up and over your head in water.
  • Head protection is not always required, but strongly encouraged. Helmets sometimes make the difference between life and death if you are tossed out of the raft and hit your head on a rock. A helmet fits best when it is taut on your head, restricting it from sliding forward and back.
  • Foot protection is equally important while on the river. When you are out of the raft you will have to walk in water where rocks and other sharp objects may lie. Shoes are usually required on rafting trips.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Be sure to carry along more water than you think you’ll need. It is easy to become dehydrated on the water with the amount of energy you exert combined with the heat of the sun.
  • Be aware of age and weight limits on particular rivers. Tennessee state law requires all personnel on the Ocoee River to be at least 12 years of age.