And people who go down the river in inner tubes or on floats seem to routinely underestimate the length of downstream journeys, Bozorth said, explaining that a tube travels about 1 mph, compared to a canoe, which moves at twice that speed.
“People come into the river, do their own thing, and they think it’s not that far from point to point, but it’s hours and hours,” he said. .
When navigating a river, floats should be aware of the dams along their route and be prepared to exit the water well in advance of the dam – a safety practice known as portage – in order to bypass dangerous currents of ‘a blocade.
High waters and low light can obscure signage that warns people of portage areas before dams, and if boaters or floats drink, they can be distracted and miss critical signs, Bozorth said.
And if a group of floats see a dam approaching quickly, they must be ready to get out of the water quickly. But a popular tendency to create “flotillas” of rafts and tubes by connecting flotation devices with a rope, can hamper such hasty exits, Bozorth said.
“When groups of people on rafts and tubes tie up, it reduces their maneuverability,” Bozorth said. “And that makes it hard to get out. “
Missing a dam is not easy, said Bozorth. “If someone crosses a roadblock, they’ve either missed the sign, are asleep or drunk, or it’s too dark for them. It’s just better to go out on the river with someone who knows what they’re doing. ”
Contact Susie C. Spear at [email protected], (336) 349-4331, ext. 6140 and follow @SpearSusie_RCN on Twitter.