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River navigation - Some information

Published: 27.3.2008
The danger of navigation with friends. Beginner was drawned in a river because he run alone. However, there is a warning: Never drive alone in a water! Even very experienced waterman drawned (dead) in wild river, in spite of the fact that he was there together with a group! Another warning: Never drive with unexperienced friends!

Anyway, what is the truth? We have to think over about the danger, created in a group of experienced drivers. Do you drive always throughout a diffulcult place, recommended by your fellow?  He says, you have to go to left, but it seems that it could be better to go from right to left side? Do you go to left or follow your feelings? When your friend says: „go quickly and „kick a spike“! would you try it so, in spite of the fact that you are of an opinion to go slowly and fall into safe return movement? There are many of such situation as this! Do not afraid of this fact, it is not so terrible! Anyway, other situation are to be offered. You discuss with your friends, who goes as first, you have to be the first, if you are not decided where to go? Do you go, if you are not sure enough? You do not wish to carry over the boat, if it is possible to be overcome? Are you in problems, whether to go to save a man or material, subject they are swimming? Do you do your best in order to  be saved from a difficult place, from a roller and not finish there with your own power? (according to known waterman warning: Never give up, please!). Do you drive only, if there is somebody present near to difficult place in order to help you? Do you find a solution if you have a problem?Do you jump in a relatively safe stage, „on a head“, boat following boat? Do you terminate your descent  of the river at a dusk, provided somebody went too slowly or went with delay? Are you in a harmony with your friend on rescue operation – do you work with a rope, while he is doing Eskimo turning? Do you guess regarding raid for taking a photo? „Would you raid a little to the left, there is netter lightening!“ if you are aware that the way in this direction is worse? Provided you do not have much courage to go, you receive the instruction: „lent your kayak to a girl, she is ready to go as first!“ Are you ready to go, if you feel that you are not prepared and fit O.K.? All this wounds your self-consciousness („ego“).

This does not happen to you, if you go alone!

An example: I am driving with two experienced watermen this extreme river (Olli Grau and Dan Gevere) and it is an ideal time for jumping this waterfall. I know also that I stood on a bank and they swam and were pressed to siphon and had to struggle. My finger broke in a moment of saving them by means of rope – in this wild brook in a pass. I knew that they had problems as they went „according to their memory“, in spite of the fact that I saw the situation. I carried over the boat. They told me that this rapid is not too diffilult.

However, I was not careful enough, believed them, so I returned. It is a paradox – experienced drivers enter a misfortune, where they did not ever enter, under standard circumstances. They do not like, if somebody does the action in another way. The people have the tendency to risk and behave in other way. I know a boy who completely broke and was wounded during ski-descent , and now drives a water of IV-V stage. When I asked him for his „soloist  drive“ he told me: Never alone, it is very important for beginners and middle advanced drivers (they do not distinguish  the differences of word „risk“). Anyway, for experienced drivers there is a challenge! If you prefere to eliminate the risk for 100%, stay at home! I have a respect and veneration to all drivers, it does not matter if they drive on pond, on WW II or jump from waterfalls. Driving with friends is better and a risk is less. Anyway, I go never without safe, equipment, and  always have to think over!

Be „free“ but when you stress „your solo navigation“ remember that paddling with other fellows, friends or „clients“ is dangerous as well!

Text: Vojta Jančar



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