What should operator have to reduce chances of accidents, causalities during kayaking and rafting trips?

If you are a kayaking and rafting tour operator who organizes trips in Uttarakhand, you should have a complete set of fully functional safety and rescue equipment. You have to show the equipment to the Technical Committee set up under the Uttarakhand River Rafting / Kayaking Rules 2014 for audit and examination. The Rule 14 specifies the following equipment and the related standards to reduce accident risk during the trips:

17 essential equipment


1. 12-20-foot-(3.65-6.0 meters)-long self-bailing inflatable raft: This raft has a buoyant (floating) floor allowing automatic draining of water if the raft gets unwanted water.

2. Air pump

3. Aluminum frame

4. Bow line

5. Dry bag or cooler box

6. First aid box

7. Flip line: A rope tied around the bottom of the raft.

8. Guide paddle

9. Helmets meeting the following specifications:

  • Floatable
  • Composed of ABS polyethylene cover of high density
  • Straps to fix it on the head
  • 4-5 circulation holes
  • With padding or made of foam

10.  Life jackets satisfying the following standards:

  • Buoyancy should range from 6-10 kg
  • Maximum leap up to 120 kg
  • Each life jacket should have proper straps.

11. Rafter paddle

12. Repair kit

13. Rescue or throw bag containing coiled nylon rope for rescuing the rafters

14. Safety kayak

15. Straps

16. Wetsuit: A body hugging garment of rubber keeps rafter’s body warm while negotiating cold water rivers.

17. Wooden or plastic oars

7 more safety equipment

  1. Communication equipment for rescue
  2. 50-meter-long nylon rope of 8 mm diameter
  3. Two carabiners for each raft
  4. One pulley for each raft
  5. One figure of 8 or descender per raft
  6. Oxygen cylinder with mask
  7. More equipment as directed by technical committee

What are kayak and raft specifications?

  • Use kayaks and rafts built by well-known manufacturers.
  • Kayaks and rafts of durable material that is safe for kayaking and rafting operations
  • Each raft should have at least 4 buoyancy chambers. Each chamber should have same volume. The construction design ensure that deflation of one chamber does not deflate the other chambers.
  • Each chamber should have a topping valve. The valve is used in inflatable and deflatable rafts. The valve has two cylindrical bodies and a protective cap.
  • Safety line should cover the entire length of the raft. A bow line in the front of the raft is a must. The bow line should feature 6-10 D rings.
  • Each raft should have one foot cone for each rafter. A foot cone / foothold is a pocket on the raft floor for securing the feet.
  • The raft floor should be of an I-beam made of soft material or a drop stitch. The floor should not be stuck. It should be tied. The floor should have a provision for a pressure release valve.

Having good quality equipment is not just a legal formality. In fact, this will save your business and you from embarrassment and guilty feeling during kayaking and rafting trips.

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