Whitewater Rafting Risks and Hazards Disclosure:

Whitewater rafting, like any outdoor adventure activity, involves inherent risks that participants should be aware of. These risks often increase in likelihood and severity as river grades increase. Some common risks associated with white water rafting include:

  1. Drowning: This is one of the most serious risks associated with white water rafting. The fast-moving water, rapids, and unpredictable nature of rivers can lead to participants being thrown from the raft and potentially becoming trapped underwater.
    The chance of being thrown from a raft in a grade 2 rapid, and the severity of this happening, is very low. As grades increase, this likelihood and the resulting severity of the swim increases in turn.
    Our guides will instruct all participants on what do to if separated from the boat, and how to help yourselves and each other in this circumstance.
  2. Injuries: Whitewater rafting can lead to various injuries, including bruises, cuts, sprains, fractures, and head injuries. Participants can be thrown against rocks or other obstacles in the river or within the raft itself during turbulent sections. Failure to follow guides instructions can result in injury to yourself or other rafters as well.
  3. Hypothermia: Even in warm weather, the water in rivers used for white water rafting can be cold, leading to hypothermia if participants are not adequately protected or spend an extended amount of time in the water.
    We will provide all water and safety gear to wear on the water. It is a requirement that all participants wear the required gear on the river.
  4. Equipment failure: Rafts, paddles, helmets, and other gear can malfunction or fail, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
    All our gear is checked by our guides prior to each trip to minimise this chance, but we cannot eliminate this risk.
  5. Collisions: Rafts can collide with rocks, trees, or other rafts, especially in turbulent sections of the river, leading to injuries or capsizing.
    Failure to follow guide instructions throughout the rapids, particularly paddling commands, will increase this risk.
    The higher grade of rapid and river section increases the technicality of the rafting and the possibility for this to occur. It also increases the consequences of this event.
  6. Entrapment: Participants can become trapped in or under the raft or other obstacles in the river, especially in hydraulic features like recirculating currents or strainers (obstacles that allow water to pass through but trap objects).
    Guides will instruct participants on how to best avoid obstacles creating this risk. The higher grade of rapid will increase the difficultly of performing a rescue if an entrapment occurs.
  7. River hazards: Whitewater rivers can contain natural hazards such as undercut rocks, sieves (places where water flows through narrow spaces, potentially trapping objects), and log jams, which can pose risks to rafters.
  8. Environmental Hazards: Wilderness environments include the possibility for environmental hazards to arise, including rock falls, land slides and tree falls. Our guides monitor change in the banks and cliffs of the river, but we cannot eliminate this risk.
  9. Medical emergencies: Remote locations and difficult access to emergency services can complicate the response to medical emergencies such as injuries, heart attacks, or allergic reactions. It is imperative we know about all medical conditions our guests have and they carry down all related medication.

As outlined above, most risks and hazards increase as river grades increase, and the difficultly in performing a rescue increases as well.
Our guides will brief everyone on how to best avoid these circumstances, and what to do if things arise, so you can assist yourself and others in case of emergency.