Safety Policy (revised Feb.2014)





This policy applies to Whitewater Ontario (“WO”) members and clubs conducting on- water activities. It is intended to alert event organizers and participants of important safety practices to minimize and manage the risk of accidents.

The procedures outlined in Part 1 must be followed at all WO sanctioned events/trips and all WO sanctioned club events/trips (“Event/Trip”). Failure to follow the procedures could result in the insurance company rejecting a coverage claim.

The procedures outlined in Part 2 are recommended for WO sanctioned events/trips and should be applied as appropriate according to the judgment of Event/Trip Leaders (“Leaders”).

Part 1. Mandatory Safety Practices

  1. When in a kayak/canoe while on moving water, every paddler must:
    1. wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD)[1];
    2. wear a helmet; and
    3. carry a sound signaling device (whistle)[2].
  2. Leaders, or a designate in the group, must:
    1. carry a safety throw rope;
    2. have a first aid kit on the river or in an accessible location on shore; and
    3. advise participants that each person is responsible for the safety of their own equipment.

Part 2. Recommended Safety Practices

  1. It is recommended that all paddlers:
    1. Be able to swim with a life jacket and be familiar with safe practices when swimming in rapids (e.g. feet first, do not attempt to stand due to risk of entrapment or river obstacles).
    2. Have canoe/kayak equipment that is safe, appropriate for the paddler and the current water conditions.
    3. Have flotation devices in their boat.
  2. It is recommended that Leaders, or designates in the group:
    1. Know the current water conditions and river level.
    2. Discuss potential hazards with the participants.
    3. Use common river running safety practices (e.g. head counts, sweeper boats)
    4. Respect the skill levels of all participants when planning an Event/Trip.
    5. Set up throw ropes and/or safety boaters where needed.
    6. Wear a safety boat harness tow system when running a river.
    7. Have a contingency plan for emergencies that includes knowing the route to the site and the access points.
    8. Have at least one Leader or participant experienced in First Aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
    9. Have at least one Leader or participant experienced in swift water rescue.
Revised February 2014

[1], 2 Required according to Transport Canada, Safe Boating Guide - TP 511E (2011), “Minimum Safety Equipment Requirements”




Whitewater Ontario has, for the exclusive use of its member clubs and individual WO members, the free loan of whitewater boats. The "fleet" is under the administration of the Minden Wild Water Preserve Committee and loans will be provided on the following basis:
  • The Minden Wild Water Preserve Boat Fleet (which consists of 20 boats) may be borrowed in any number combination during the non-paddling season (approx. November 1 thru to May 1). by Whitewater Ontario Affiliated Clubs and members. Generally, the purpose is to help new members get oriented to paddling through indoor winter pool sessions.
  • If available, boats may be loaned on a daily basis during the summer months but only for use within the MWW Preserve area (Gull River). WO and other sanctioned functions at the Preserve will receive priority at all times.
  • Priority will be given on a "First come, First serve" basis; duration of loan period to be negotiated however, remaining at the discretion of the MWWP. Duration of loan to be determined in advance of pick up or delivery of gear.
  • There will be no cost for the usage, however a mileage fee for delivery will apply if the borrower cannot or does not pick up and return boats independently.
  • A deposit, (paid in cash upon receipt of gear or by credit card via office) of $50.00 per boat kit up to but not exceeding $250.00 (for multiple boats) will be held. To be returned if all gear is returned in good order on or before the agreed end date of loan period.
  • Damaged, lost or stolen gear will be replaced with equivalent or better items or cash remuneration at current market value. Deposit will be held until damaged, lost or stolen gear is dealt with.
  • Borrowers may select specific boats to meet specific needs however availability of more desirable boats may be reduced by greater demand. Substitutes may be made at MWWP and or WO discretion under certain circumstances.
  • Transfer of loaned gear (club to club or similar) will occur under the supervision of a MWWP committee member or appointed representative. Failure to follow this guideline also results in lost deposit.
  • No boats or equipment will be released unless a 'boat rental agreement' has first been completed.

Request for boat loans are to be directed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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