Rafting is one of the most popular adventure tourism/ water sport activities. It is important for instructors and guides to have good training and equipment as also adhere strictly to the safety guidelines to avoid accidents.


15.1 Rafting is one of the most popular adventure tourism/ water sport activities. It is important for instructors and guides to have good training and equipment as also adhere strictly to the safety guidelines to avoid accidents.


15.2 It is imperative that personnel responsible for conducting rafting activities are skilled to a high level in conducting those activities, rescue and life saving techniques and First Aid / C.P.R.



15.3 Lead guides forwater sports activities should, as a minimum, hold the following;

I. A minimum 16 hour (2 day) first aid/ CPR certificate provided by a recognised and qualified provider

II. Qualification from a recognized, national or international body or a certificate from a licensed rafting operator that the individual “has experience of 2 years in assisting in the particular activity and is independently capable of guiding groups and carrying out rescue operations”

III. A log book containing authenticated records of rafting experience during training.

IV. A WRT course completion certificate with upto date and current renewals



15.4 Life jackets or Personal Floatation Devices (PFD's) must meet the minimum buoyancy requirement, be appropriate for the intended activity, be certified / approved by ISI, US coastguard, British Canoe Union or equivalent

15.5 Helmets must be worn by all rafters on all sections.

15.6 Throw-able rescue devices(Rescue Bags) must be available for immediate use on all rafts.

15.7 Safety Kayaks must be available (within visual distance) for prompt rescue with personnel duly qualified to operate/ carry out rescue operations.

15.8 All trips leaders must carry a First Aid Kit, repair kit and pump.



15.9  All rafting activities must begin with a thorough safety briefing. The briefing must highlight the equipment used, do's and dont's, falling out, flip drill, rescue and emergency procedures. A liability waiver form clearly highlighting the risk involved must be signed by all participants prior to the commencement of the activity. Participants with any medical condition (such as weak heart condition, epilepsy, recent surgery/ any medical condition of concern or expecting mothers) making them unfit for participation in the activity must be informed prior to the commencement of the activity and not allowed to participate.


15.10 Life Jackets: No rafting activity should be undertaken without a lifejacket throughout the time spent in water. The life jacket must must have adequate buoyancy, should be fastened properly and checked by the instructor prior to commencement of the rafting activity. The lifejacket must be the appropriate size for the intended user.

15.11 Guides: No rafting activity should be conducted without the presence of trained guide/s.

15.12 Alcohol/ drugs are not permitted at least six hours prior or during the activity.

15.13 Sign boards: To be displayed with rules clearly mentioned that no water sports activity is to be undertaken unless supervised.

15.14 No rafting activity should be conducted in the dark and preferably finish an hour before dark.

15.15 Age Limit: 14 years and above on Grade III (moderate & above) rapids. This may be relaxed to 10 years for grade II (easy) rapids

15.16 Non Swimmers:

a) Not allowed on Grade IV/ V rapids or above

b) No Body Surfing in rapids

16.17 Beach Safety: Swimming on the river with life jackets only (after checking by guides) in the presence of guides/ life guards.


15.18 All Rafting Operators must maintain and update a Standard Operating Procedure for their operations.

15.19  Besides covering the methodologies that are adopted by the agency in organizing the activity, such as assessing of members medical condition and experience, procedures for conduct of the activity, avoidance of injury, safety precautions, communication, weather, procedure for emergencies, casualty evacuation, incident and accident reporting, feedback mechanism the following must be included in the SOPs:

a) Medical facilities in the area of operation must be identified. Efficient evacuation measures should also be evaluated in advance.

b) Advertising must give a true picture of all the difficulties and dangers involved, and avoid promising the impossible. If an expedition is commercially launched by an operator, then the Biographical information about the guiding team should be included.


15.20 The Tour Operator must maintain the following documentation:

I. Details of all Guides and Instructors including, copies of certifications, record of experience and feedback from clients.

II. Copies of all Permits and Permissions required for operations.

III. Copies of identification documents, Insurance cover and details of next of kin for all participants, guides and instructors.

IV. Copy of SOP.

V. Current list of emergency contact numbers


15.21 In addition;

a) Adequate first aid medical equipment must be available with the party.

b) Evacuation routes must identified and known to participants, guides and instructors.

c) A detailed and documented evacuation/emergency procedure must be available with the party along with closest available emergency services which can be called upon as required.

d) A mobile phone should be with the team along with the phone numbers of ambulance/ nearest medical facilities.