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Grades of water• International grading system defines rapids by how difficult they are to shoot in a boat• Grade 1 – V1 (V1 – not in Ireland / UK)
• Grade I - Easy - moving water with the odd disturbances, small, regular waves & slight meanders – gentle fishing water• Grade II - Moderate - water is faster & rapids more frequent; rocks, waves & small stoppers are found but always with an obvious channel – nice fly water• Grade III - Harder - pace quickens, big waves & stoppers, capable of holding a boat firmly. Rapids are much more continuous, although the route is fairly obvious, it is necessary to be able to maneuver the kayak well – getting exciting
• Grade IV - Difficult - long stretches of rapids & falls with irregular waves, powerful holding stoppers. Route not obvious from the water, & bank inspection is usually necessary. A mistake or swim could be serious – nah! leave it to the kayakers• Grade V - Extremely difficult - long rapids, large drops with big waves, dangerous stoppers & rocks to negotiate. A challenge to any canoeist. In grade V, substantial danger is always possible. Continual inspection and / or protection is often necessary – yah gona die fat pig!!
• Grade VI - Limit of navigation – a line down exists - just. Luck may play a part. Is a real risk to life. Most of the time, they are too dangerous to canoe – f****n hell!
Before trip require• Risk Assessment• Details (medical) & contact of client(s)• Weather forecast (part of RA)• Info on beat / fishery• Expedition form
Equipment to consider for safety To be decided by appropriate RA for particular site(s)• Hat & Glasses• First Aid Kit• Throw rope / knife• Wading staff• Personal buoyancy• Whistle• Mobile phone (check reception)• Watch• Bivvy bag• Food & drink• Map / compass
Ensure you & your client have• Appropriate Licenses / permits• Waterproof jacket / trouser (no matter how good the weather)• Waders / wellingtons / boots as appropriate• Fishing equipment - rod, reel, lines & ancillary equipment• Landing net• Priest
Other equipment to be considered• Spare equipment for clients• Food & drink• Midge repellant• Sun cream• Torch• KISU
Wading - considerations• Do you need to wade?• What is the wading like / bed?• Flow of water• Obstacles• Egress / exit to water• Need for wading staff• Experience of angler• Physical ability• Confidence• Limitations of depth• What if it goes wrong?
Wading tips• Do not assume your clients can wade• Enter the water carefully – consider sliding in• If using a wading staff use it to feel ahead• When moving shuffle your feet – do not lift• If turning around - turn into the current
• Remember if you get in trouble you cannot easily wade up stream• Consider physically / morally supporting the client• Consider the need for Personal Buoyancy• Ensure waist belts are worn on chest waders
IF it goes wrong….• Do not panic• Relax & lie on your back – yes you are wet!• RELAX• If going underwater – shut your mouth!• Blow your whistle!• Fend off obstacles with your feet• Drop any equipment you are holding• Be aware of throw ropes coming your way• Use the current to head for the shore• In shallow water stand up slowly & carefully
Throw rope – as rescuer• Grab rope (have it available!)• Find suitable point to throw rope• Be aware of the spot the swimmer will pendulum into• Can they get out or will you make it worse?
• Throw rope beyond the casualty – not at them• When throwing rope shout – ‘ROPE!!’• Talk to casualty, tell them what you want them to do Hold on & put the rope over your shoulder!• If you miss – pull in line & throw again• As the weight goes on the rope, brace / sit down or belay
• Do not pull the casualty in, it can cause a bow wave• Remember they are not rescued til on dry land
Throw rope – as casualty• DO NOT PANIC!• Lie on back• Spread arms wide to make a larger target• Grab the rope• Do not wrap it around your hands or tie to it• Put rope over shoulder
• Hold on!!• As pendulum into bank RELAX & wait• Slowly stand up or grab onto bank• Do not let go of rope till on the bank / safe