Canoeing is a risk activity. Accidents will happen and when they occur on white water, the outcome can easily be fatal if the appropriate remedial action is not quickly taken. The answer lies in the combination of training, based on the accepted code of technique and safety; and experience gathered over a number of years, where techniques are acquired and practiced under the shadow of a leader.
Accidents on the white water can be placed in three broad categories:
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
in correct use of equipment, to lacking knowledge from which a balanced judgment can be made.
OVER-ESTIMATION OF ABILITY
inevitable with young, inexperienced canoeists
may affect both novice and expert
Ensure you should have sound knowledge of the skills, techniques and equipment you are using by undertaking adequate training. With the types of equipment ranging widely it would be impossible to cover all the aspects of safety here but a few golden rules would be useful. Be able to swim at least 50m. You do not need to be able to swim vast distances but the ability to remain confident in and under the water, without panicking, is vital.