You are a paddle raft guide on the Salmon River during high water; the air temperature is 72º F and water temperature is 54º F. You are at the put-in waiting for your clients to arrive. The bus pulls up and the clients disembark in wetsuits and life-jackets and move to their assigned guides for a safety talk. Your clients all know one another, joined the trip after seeing a brochure during a planned holiday to celebrate the 70th birthdays of two group members, and have never been whitewater rafting before. The entire group is retired, in their late 60s or early 70s, and appear to be in good health for their age. After your safety talk, two of the men, Paul and Andrew, tell you they are each taking a beta blocker for a heart condition. The day run from Riggins to Lucille contains two large rapids where a paddle raft guide needs to rely on the strength and ability of the clients to get the raft to the right place in each rapid; the raft could flip or throw one or more clients in the rapid if in the wrong spot.
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Don't know where to begin or what to do? Take one of our wilderness medicine courses. Guides and expedition leaders should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course.
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