Is Rafting Safe?
It’s about 70 times safer than driving a car. It’s even less dangerous than recreational bicycling or skiing. We work hard to make it as safe as possible by having strict safety policies, good equipment and well-trained, certified guides.
We really are white water rafting safety experts. Our founder sits on the board of the Alberta and BC provincial rafting associations, and in 2019 she oversaw updating the Alberta Rafting Safety Standards. In 2020, she co-authored the Covid-19 Best Practices for River Outfitters for both provinces. Our other owner has taught Swiftwater Rescue since 2001 and has been a Raft Guide Examiner certifying guides since 2005.
We’re Not Just Having Fun Out Here.
As much as rafting is a very cool job, and paddling big water is exciting, we care most about safety. The rivers are like home to us; our most favourite places in the world. We want to share these magical places – we want you to have a fantastic time, make memories you’ll never forget, and be safe as possible.
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Two things shape our approach to safety. First, when we started the business, Gina’s kids were only 6 and 9. They were always on the river with us, so we needed to make sure they were safe. As the company founder, Gina made sure we had the best kids rafting gear – just as safe as the adult version. As the company grew, we made safety policies to keep all our guests just as safe as Gina’s kids. In fact, we even teach our guides to “treat your guests like your kids.”
The other thing that shaped our approach to safety is the other owner, Johannes, trained under Ross Cloutier, one of Canada’s top risk management specialists. To us, risk management boils down to two fundamental concepts. First, always consider the worst possible scenario, and be prepared. If you’re not sure you can handle it, don’t do it. This means never pushing the envelope just for the sake of a thrill. But you still need to be ready for anything: we train and test guides in realistic scenarios that might happen on the river before they take guests.
Risk management starts long before situations occur. There’s a well-known philosophy called the ‘domino effect. When a few small things go wrong, it’s more likely that a serious incident will occur. This means managing all the details, having all the safety equipment, keeping it in good repair. It also means preparing you – our guest. We give a thorough safety briefing at the river about the risks and teach you how to help keep yourself and your group safe.
We’re one of the most reputable companies in Western Canada: we’ve logged 23 years of safe operation on six rivers rated from class 1 to 4+. Our founder, Gina Goldie, is president of the Professional River Outfitters Association of Alberta and on the executive team of the BC River Outfitters Association. In 2019, she oversaw updating the Alberta Rafting Safety Standards and in 2020, she co-authored the Covid-19 Best Practices for River Outfitters in both provinces.
Our owner, Johannes Zwart, has taught Swiftwater Rescue since 2001 and has been a Raft Guide Examiner certifying guides since 2005. Besides our own staff and members of the public, he has certified members of the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Rangers and Search & Rescue.
Our guides come from around the globe, bringing a wealth of experience with them. We require our guides to have the following additional certifications. One of our owners is a Swiftwater Rescue Instructor who has been running courses since 2001. Besides our own staff and members of the public, we have also certified members of the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Rangers and Search & Rescue.
- Guides – First Aid, Trip Leaders – Wilderness First Aid or First Responder.
- Guides & Trip Leaders – Swiftwater Rescue
They are certified by one of the following organizations:
A big part of making rafting safe is the equipment we provide. Falling out of the raft does happen, so we need to make sure guests as protected as possible. This means not just a wetsuit, lifejacket and helmet; we also provide wetsuit jackets and spray jackets. Our helmets are designed for whitewater plus have ABS shells and EVA foam liners.