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River Safety and Education by Jim Cole. River Safety and Education. Background Past President and current Membership Chairperson of RICKA. ACA Certified Instructor. I have taken canoeing and/or rescue classes every year for 15 years. 20 + years teaching Canoeing and Kayaking.

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river safety and education
River Safety and Education
  • Background
  • Past President and current Membership Chairperson of RICKA.
  • ACA Certified Instructor.
  • I have taken canoeing and/or rescue classes every year for 15 years.
  • 20 + years teaching Canoeing and Kayaking.
  • 20 + years of teaching rescue and self rescue techniques.
  • 15 + years of white water canoeing experience.
  • Author of Paddling Connecticut and Rhode Island.
  • Paddled 300 + miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
  • I have seen hundreds of paddlers capsize during rescue practice
  • as well as accidental capsizes on canoe and kayak trips.
river safety and education4
River Safety and Education

Inflatable PFD’s – What you need to know.

  • Types
  • Uses
  • Maintenance (before each use)
  • Maintenance (At least annually)
  • Replacement parts $$$$
  • Common Sense Suggestions -Try it out.
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River Safety and Education

Types of inflatable PFD’s

  • Auto Inflatable PFD’s

This type will automatically inflate when submerged in water.

It can also be inflated using a rip cord.

An oral inflation tube is also provided.

  • Manual inflatable PFD’s

This type requires the user to pull a rip cord to inflate.

An oral inflation tube is also provided.

river safety and education6
River Safety and Education

Uses for inflatable PFD’s

  • Used on commercial aircraft in case of water landings.
  • Approved by USCG for use in most watercraft.
  • Not approved for anyone under age 16.
  • Not approved for use with swift water sports including:
    • waterskiing or other towed devices,
    • PWC (personal water craft),
    • small sailboats,
    • sailboard,
    • white water or
    • kayak surfing.
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River Safety and Education

Maintenance (before each use)

  • Auto Inflators – inspect the auto inflator “bobbin”, and arming device. A RED indicator means the inflator or arming device needs to be replaced. Green means GO.
  • CO2 cylinder – inspect for signs of corrosions or rust. Check weight of CO2 cylinder.
  • Bladder – Check for signs of wear, puncture, scraps, or cracks.
  • Oral inflators – check to see value is closed.
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River Safety and Education

Maintenance (at least Annually)

  • Manually inflate in fall and leave inflated for off season to prevent dry rot or cracking of bladder.
  • While inflated check for leaks (leave inflated for minimum of 24 hours to find slow leaks).
  • Coat CO2 cylinder with Vaseline to prevent corrosion.
  • Check the inflator (and bobbin on auto inflate models)
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River Safety and Education

River Safety and Education

Replacement Parts (in waterproof container)

  • Always carry at least 1 spare CO2 cylinder. ($6.95)
  • Always carry a spare arming kit for auto-inflators. ($19.95)
  • Always carry a repair kit (if recommended by the manufacturer).
  • On multi day or wilderness trips, you may want to carry a spare PFD.

River Safety and Education

  • Common Sense suggestions – Try it Out
  • Try the PFD on in the water. Yes, jump in the water and inflate your PFD. That way you will know what to expect in an accidental swim.
  • Re-arm the inflation device. You don’t want to try and figure this out in the middle of no-where without the instructions.
  • Replace the CO2 cylinders. Again, don’t wait for the emergency to try and figure it out.
  • Practice restoring the bladder to the un-inflated condition.

River Safety and Education

  • Problems encountered with inflatable PFD’s
  • Accidental inflation because of weak “bobbin”.
  • Accidental inflation because of ripcord catching
  • another object.
  • No rearming kit or CO2 cylinder available.
  • Unable to put on an inflated PFD.
  • PFD unable to stay inflated.
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River Safety and Education

As a result of several problems, the following organizations not longer allow inflatable PFD’s

on their Canoe and Kayak Trips:

  • Rhode Island Canoe Kayak Association
  • Blackstone Valley Paddle Club
  • Southern New England Paddlers
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River Safety and Education
  • Questions ?
  • Comments?

Thank You