Whitewater rafting can be an incredibly fun activity, as you take on the rapids with a group of friends and travel through some exciting scenery. However, there may be a point where one of the riders ends up going overboard into the water. This shouldn't be a reason to be concerned if you know the tips to get them back into the raft safely.
Stay Safe In The Water
A common mistake that people make when they go overboard on a raft is trying to stand up in the water. The issue with this is that you do not know what is happening beneath the surface of the water, so your feet could get caught on something that you cannot see. If the person in the water floats on their back with their feet up, they'll remain safe and not in a situation where they are stuck.
Use The Paddle's Handle
When trying to reach further out into the water so that the person can grab something to bring themselves in, it is common to use your paddle in order to do so. One thing to keep in mind is that the blade of the paddle is going to be slippery and hard to grab onto. You'll want to reverse the paddle and extend the t-grip for the person to grab onto and use to pull themself closer to the raft.
Allow One Person To Perform The Rescue
It's important that only one person actually performs the act of rescuing somebody from the water. If 2 or 3 people go to help, their added weight, plus the weight of the person overboard, will pull down that side of the raft. This can cause the entire raft to flip, causing everyone to be in the water. Try to let only one person handle the rescue so that the raft remains stable.
Know The Technique For Lifting
The easiest way to bring someone back onto the boat is to grab them under their arms or shoulder straps of a life preserver and then use your weight to fall backward and bring the person with you. That should hopefully get them back onto the raft without any issues.
Practice In Flat Water
Now that you know the techniques for getting someone out of the water, be sure to practice them in flat water where there are no rapids. It will help ensure that everyone knows what they are doing if the time comes to use their skills.