Flooded waterways

Paddling SA strongly recommends not paddling in flooded waterways. There are risks associated with flooded waterways which may endanger your health or be lethal.

Flooded rivers and floodwaters can be dangerous for the following reasons

  • The normal direction and flow of the river may have changed
  • Trees, fences and other snags may entrap you and the power of the water flow may hold you submerged in a lethal embrace
  • The speed and power of the water may quickly sweep you into danger
  • A capsize will take you downstream  with the possibility you may not regain your craft or equipment
  • The water may be a health hazard if ingested or coming in contact with eyes, ears, nose or other mucous membranes
  • Animals in the water, including snakes, may consider your craft a refuge from the flood-water and put you at risk of injury
  • The turbidity of the water and objects swept along with the current can injure or disorient paddlers who capsize
Paddling  in moving water is both exhilarating and challenging. Before paddling in moving water, such as streams and rivers, paddlers should:
  • Ensure they have the skills and ability to safely use their craft in the conditions that will be encountered
  • Wear a well fitting and appropriate pfd (personal flotation device) at all times
  • Wear adequate head protection (such a a purpose designed helmet), appropriate footwear and clothing for the conditions
  • Make sure that someone knows what you are doing and where you plan to go. Fill out a  float_plan form and give to someone to monitor for your return.
  • Assess the risks of the area where you are paddling and have planned escape routes in case you need to abort your paddling activity

Paddling in storm and rain runoff can be a hazardous to your health. Paddlers should not engage in activities in recreational water (including rivers, streams, lakes and the marine environment) when more than 10 mm of rain has fallen in a single rain event.