floating safety tips.
(ALWAYS put safety FIRST)
precepts listed below will help insure that you and those around you
have a safe enjoyable experience of the Meramec. Most of them are just
plain common sense guidelines, but are listed anyway because sometimes
(especially during the excitement of having fun or while under the influence
of alcohol etc.), a personís common sense may leave him/her. Please,
when in - on - or around the river, keep the following points in mind:
and other floatation devices are for your protection, in Missouri
there must be a floatation device for each person in your craft,
and children seven years old and under must wear a floatation jacket
or vest at all times.
If you don't know then LEARN
HOW TO SWIM FIRST! Just a simple back or breast stroke can save
take unnecessary chances, anyone who is not a strong swimmer,
feels apprehension on the water, is overly intoxicated, and
all children should wear a jacket or vest. If
you step into a deep hole or get swept away by current don't
fight it! Swim/float on your back with the current, feet first,
and make your way to the nearest bank.
- Never dive or jump into water
that you havenít checked for proper depth and underwater obstructions.
- Avoid swimming in fast water,
use the slow spots and backwaters for play.
- Avoid swimming near logs,
snags, logjams and other objects in which your feet, legs, arms
or clothing could become entangled.
- Never sit or lay in your
craft with your arms or legs under the seats, thwarts, or other
fixtures (especially children). Be easily able to swim free of your
craft should a spill occur.
- Steer your craft well clear
of other crafts and obstructions in the water, if a collision is
going to occur grasp the sides of your craft and use your weight
and balance to attempt to keep the craft upright.
- If a spill does occur, donít
try to swim against the current, swim or float feet first with the
current to the nearest bank (use your feet to avoid snags, logjams
and other objects). River currents, like weather, are unpredictable.
When a river current carries you, roll over onto your back and with
feet first do go downstream. When you feel that you are out of the
damgerous part of the river current, quickly swim toward the shore
- Keep your gear in watertight
containers that are firmly attached to your craft.
- Bring a well stocked dry-bag
with disposable rain poncho's, first aid kit, fire starting kit
and dry clothes.
- Get off of the water during
severe electrical (lightning) storms.
- Donít take a float that is
too long for the amount of time you want to spend, most people enjoy
a leisurely trip more than a hurried one. Floating times vary according
to the type of craft, river conditions, and how hard you paddle:
- 5 miles nonstop in a canoe
= 2 - 3 hrs.avg. (Light paddling).
- 5 miles nonstop in a raft
= 4 - 5 hrs.avg. (Light paddling).
"Enjoy and appreciate
the river and outdoors, but do so wisely and safely, obey the laws
and drink in moderation."