VIDEO: Safety for Whitewater Kayakers, Part I
This video series, created by Northwest River Supplier and starring renowned safety expert Jim Coffey, aims to teach you “a combination of skills, tips and tricks to make you a better river rescuer." It is designed to help prepare those who want to run big whitewater for emergencies that could arise.
In this first film, Coffey talks about the equipment you should take with you whenever you go kayaking. The list includes:
- Good-quality footwear: Shoes should be rugged enough that you can walk down to the river and potentially evacuate a person from the location.
- Thermal protection: The layers you carry should vary based on the water temperature, however you should pack enough to keep warm if you have to spend extended time in the water during a rescue.
- White water helmet: It's best if a helmet has ear protection in case you hit the side of your head.
- Rescue PFD: Look for four F's: proper fit, adequate flotation, fashion and function. You want an integrated harness, a knife that is easily accessible by both hands, a whistle, a set of medical gloves, a snack, a light source and a pocket mask.
- High quality throw bag and pin kit: It should include four locking carabiners, three pulleys, two short pieces of cord and one piece of webbing.
- First aid kit, emergency/survival kit and a communication device
NRS also recommends that kayakers seek whitewater rescue training.