2016 Cameron Smedley and Michael Tayler

2016 Cameron Smedley and Michael Tayler

Minden Wild Water Preserve

WO Access and Preservation

36th Annual Gull River Open Canoe Slalom Race

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Safety Policy (revised Feb.2014)

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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”



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