What To Do If You Capsize While Paddling

If you capsize in swift water, follow these guidelines.

  • Float on the upstream side of your craft. You can be crushed on the downstream side if you run into an obstruction.
  • Do not attempt to stand or walk in the swift-moving water. The current could pull you under if your foot becomes trapped between submerged rocks.

  • Float on your back with your feet and arms extended. Float with your feet pointed downstream to act as a buffer against rocks. Don’t fight the current. Use the current to backstroke your way to shore.
  • If the water is cold, take all necessary precautions to avoid hypothermia.
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