The precepts listed below will help insure that you and those around
you have a safe enjoyable experience of the Meramec. Most of them are
just plain common sense guidelines, but are listed anyway because sometimes
(especially during the excitement of having fun or while under the influence
of alcohol etc.), a personís common sense may leave him/her. Please, when
in - on - or around the river, keep the following points in mind:
- Lifejackets and other floatation devices
are for your protection, in Missouri there must be a floatation device
for each person in your craft, and children seven years old and under
must wear a floatation jacket or vest at all times. Don't take unnecessary
chances, anyone who is not a strong swimmer, feels apprehension on the
water, is overly intoxicated, and all children should wear a jacket
- Never dive into water that you havenít
checked for proper depth and underwater obstructions.
- Avoid swimming in fast water, use the
slow spots and backwaters for play.
- Never sit or lay in your craft with
your arms or legs under the seats, thwarts, or other fixtures (especially
children). Be easily able to swim free of your craft should a spill
- Steer your craft well clear of other
crafts and obstructions in the water, if a collision is going to occur
grasp the sides of your craft and use your weight and balance to attempt
to keep the craft upright.
- If a spill does occur, donít try to
swim against the current, swim or float feet first with the current
to the nearest bank (use your feet to avoid snags, log-jams and other
- Keep your gear in watertight containers
that are firmly attached to your craft.
- Get off of the water during severe
electrical (lightning) storms.
- Donít take a float that is too long
for the amount of time you want to spend, most people enjoy a leisurely
trip more than a hurried one. Floating times vary according to the type
of craft, river conditions, and how hard you paddle:
- 5 miles nonstop in a canoe = 2 - 3
hrs.avg. (Light paddling).
- 5 miles nonstop in a raft = 4 - 5 hrs.avg.
Donít TIE Multiple Boats Together!
This practice may at first seem harmless, and it can
be fun for groups to connect their boats and float as a single craft,
but it is illegal and there are safety and courtesy concerns which arise
from this practice that all floaters and river utilizers should be aware
of: Steering groups of boats tied together becomes
very difficult, they go wherever the current takes them. For
that reason floaters who engage in that style of floating often just
assume that most everyone else in or on the river is just going to get
out of their way. This is rude, inconsiderate, and
can be dangerous! The same principles of common courtesy which
exist on our streets, sidewalks etc. apply to travelers on the river.
"Canoe Rescue Techniques"
Canoe Over Canoe,
Boat Bump, Paddling Awash,
Swimming the Canoe Awash, Roll Out and Throw Bag Rescues.
above tips by Bill Kammer