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Winter Boating on Rivers

These comments apply mainly to the River Severn but most are applicable to any major river in Britain.

image ice on the river severn Boating on any river in Winter should be approached with caution.

It is different from boating on the canal network where the water is stationary, depths are very shallow and the bank is just a few feet away.

On a river, water levels may be high and the current fast.  Should things go wrong, they can escalate quickly and help may be a long time arriving.  Rivers in flood are especially dangerous.



River Flow


Reducing the risk

  • Most important.    Know your location on the river at all times.    Keep a navigation log and carry maps.
  • The UK '999' telephone service will connect you to an efficient but land-orientated call centre.
  • A call for help may be useless if the rescue team does not know exactly where you are.
  • Emergency help may arrive overland.  It may not be much use if it arrives on the opposite bank of a wide and swollen river!
image swollen river severn

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