There are times when you might be alone and have no choice but to swim across, or there may be a time that you find yourself suddenly plunged into a swift river or rapids. In either case, the following techniques could save your life.

a. Immediately jettison any equipment or clothing that restricts movement.

b. Do not try to fight the current. Maneuver towards shore in a position with the feet downstream, facing downstream, and fanning the hands alongside the body to add buoyancy and to fend off submerged rocks. Use the feet to protect the rest of the body and to fend off submerged rocks.

c. Keep the head above water to observe for obstacles and attempt to maneuver away from them.

d. Try to avoid backwater eddies and converging currents as they often contain dangerous swirls. Avoid bubbly water under falls as it has little buoyancy. Breath between the wave troughs.

e. If the shore is too difficult to reach, seek out the closest and safest spot, such as a sandbar, to get yourself out of the water as quickly as possible. Hypothermia will set in quickly in colder waters.


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Surviving the Wild Outdoors

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