Don’t go alone:-If you are not an experienced operator or rafter, you are taking a massive risk by going into anything higher than a grade 2 rapid. White Water rafters can and do end up in the drink, and without any kind of expert to help, you’ll be on your own.
Safety in numbers and power in knowledge :- Try and get the biggest group you can get together as possible. If you take a fall, you’ll have a greater team of people that can paddle against a powerful stream to come and help you. Also, know where you are going, what the grade is, where the danger points are and mentally prepare for what you are up against.
Acclimatization :-Especially important in the colder regions, make sure you take a bit of a dunk in the water to get yourself wet before you take off. It might be a little chilly to face, but it will get your body used to the cold temperatures.
If you get dunked in the stream and aren’t acclimatized, you’ll be faced with the shock of scrambling back to the raft, plus your body will suffer a temperature power slam – which can lead to hyperventilation and hypothermia. Remember, many streams decrease in temperature the further you go down.
Feet first, baby :-If you do take a tumble and find yourself outside your raft – and you are having trouble getting back to it – the most important thing to do is to keep calm, raise your feet up, and ride the stream. This will help you avoid snaring against any rocks, which are your worst enemy if you wind up in the water.
Life Jacket And Helmet :- This should go without saying, but it really, really needs to be said. Your head is a precious melon. Rocks are very hard. Streams are fast, powerful and chaotic. These three elements combined can produce disastrous results. You need to protect yourself to the best of your ability and these two items are ESSENTIAL. Also, a wetsuit will help in colder waters.Watch river rafting safety video.