Floating the Yakima River this Summer? Safety First! [VIDEO]
Growing up in Yakima one thing you have to do at least once in your life is float the river. I've done it many times a kid and had a blast. It's not all fun and games though, especially when you go out unprepared and underestimate the river and its strength. Always and I mean ALWAYS wear a life jacket, stay together and don't drink to much. You don't want to be the group that has to be rescued by the Sheriff search and rescue team. Check out this local YouTube video of folks having fun in the Yakima sun!
Here are 10 River Safety Tips from us here at the Bull:
1.) Tell someone where you are going, when you expect to return, and where to call if you don't.
2.) Make sure your white water skills and experience are equal to the river and the conditions. NEVER BOAT ALONE.
3.) Wear a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) at all times when you are in or near the river.
4.) Know your limits of swimmers rescue and self rescue on white water rivers. Know when and how to swim for an eddy.
5.) Be prepared for extremes in weather, especially cold. Know about the dangers of hypothermia and how to deal with it. Know early signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration in hot weather.
6.) Reduce threat of injury by wearing protective footwear and proper clothing.
7.) Carry a first aid kit and know how to use it. Learn or review medical aid responsibilities and CPR.
8.) Never run a rapid unless you can see a clear path through it. Watch out for new snags after winter and spring floods.
9.) Allow the craft ahead of you to pass through the rapid before you enter it. This will avoid a double disaster if the leading boat blocks the channel.
10.) When in doubt, stop and scout. If you are still in doubt? Portage.