A couple days ago my friend passed on a link of a POV shot video of a heart-pounding rescue in a river. The video shows a kayaker that got trapped in a vertical waterfall, water rushing over his head. It was a very small waterfall, but would have been deadly had he been by himself–or had his friends not known what to do.

The original website that posted it, Epic TV, wrote, “A great reminder for us all of the unpredictable nature of whitewater and the importance of always paddling with good friends and carrying safety gear.”

I couldn’t agree more. While none of these gents were fishing, for those of us who do spend a lot of time in boats on rivers the perils are the same, whether you’re paddling a kayak or floating in a fishing dory.

It’s fine to carry safety gear, but you better know how to use it. If one of your fishing buddies gets into trouble on the river would you know what to do? Do you know how to use a throw-bag? What about if your boat “hi-sides” on a rock? How about if you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, do you know how to safely try and self rescue in whitewater? If not, you probably shouldn’t be fishing from a boat on a river. Get educated, take a whitewater safety course, and do your homework. One day you might be very happy you did.