White water rafting is one of the most common sports. Millions of people risk their lives every year to go, but when I go rafting I have to decide if I want to go guided or unguided. Unguided rafting is dangerous because of inexperienced people, lack of supervision, and dangerous actions of the rafters.
For inexperienced rafters, unguided tours are very dangerous. Someone could get into trouble easily. People might not know what to do if I fall into the water. When I was rafting with my brother, he told me before we even got into the raft, that if I fall out to keep my feet up and butt down. This action is called the free flow position. This position is quite easy to do. I just stay on my back and lie down, keep my feet down stream and steer myself with my arms. If I come across any rocks or debris I can kick off of it. I have done this position numerous times. The free flow position was fun when I was in a small, not very dangerous, rapid, but it is not fun when I am in a dangerous rapid. I have seen many people do this position. If I were not to do this important position I could get a foot entrapment.
A foot entrapment is when someone’s foot gets caught in a crack or crevice on the floor of the river. Then the water forces them under. Foot entrapments are very easy to get. The river does not have a paved bottom like a road. Often it is very hard to pull someone out. Pulling someone out is almost near impossible. So, if someone falls into the water make sure they stay in the free flow position.
Another reason why I should not go unguided is that no one monitors my welfare. If I go unguided experienced guides are not present. Therefore if I fall into the water no one can throw me ropes to grab onto. These ropes are approximately sixty feet long. The guides stand in strategic places where I am most likely to fall out of the raft. A spot that they always stand at is Dimple Rock. I am glad that the do this because I am always scared I am going to get trapped under the rock. Dimple rock is an under-cut rock that water pulls things under. I once saw someone almost get sucked under. If the guide was not present to get the person out, they could have died. These ropes are an essential part of safety when I am rafting. They help the guides pull me out faster. The guides will not throw me this rope until I have made eye contact with them. The rope would be a waste of time if I did not see it coming to me. If I did not see it coming then I could not grab onto it. That is why, if I go unguided, I don’t have as many people looking out for my safety. The only thing I will have to pull me back into my raft is myself, and the people I am rafting with, and if they are inexperienced, then they aren’t going to be able to do pull me in as fast.
When I go rafting, I realize that many people do dangerous things. On the river many large rocks jut out from the shores or the water. Many people see these rocks and think “Oh that would be fun to jump off of” this idea is not a good thing. Many dangers lye beneath the water that most people might not be able to see. Many of the experienced local rafters might know where to jump and where not to jump but many tourists do not. When I went rafting with my brother, an experienced local, he told me to jump off of a rock. This rock was huge! I was so scared but he told me not to be scared of and that someone was down below to catch me. I jumped and it was fun, but jumping could have been very dangerous.
So when I call and make my reservation to go rafting, I ask myself “Do I want to go guided or unguided?”. I just remember, that unguided rafting is dangerous. Unguided rafting is dangerous because of inexperienced people, Lack of supervision, and dangerous actions of rafters.
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