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White Water Rafting


(Published January 2022, replacing March 2016)

What is White Water Rafting?

The use of an inflatable raft to travel down white water rapids. The raft is powered by single bladed paddles and is steered through the use of either a single stern-located steering oar or two centrally located oars.

What is a White Water Rafting permit?

The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be led by someone holding the appropriate permit.

A White Water Rafting permit is required for all White Water Rafting taking place in any class of water.

Levels of permit

White Water Rafting permits can be issued for any class of white water. Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through geographical location, size of craft etc.) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of an Applicant.

Types of permit

There is one type of permit available for White Water Rafting. This is:

Leadership – Allows the permit holder to lead White Water Rafting for a single raft. A maximum number of 8 people can be led by the permit holder and detailed in the risk assessment considering environment, ability of individuals and weather.

Permit limitations

Leadership - If you have a permit to lead White Water Rafting then you will need to be in the raft at all times. Although it will not necessarily be the case that the permit holder will be helming the raft, they must always remain in a position whereby they could take over this responsibility with immediate effect should this be required.

Rules relating to white water rafting

Rule 9.7 Adventurous Activities Permit Scheme

Rule 9.8 Adult Groups Undertaking Activities

Rule 9.13.1 All Water Activities - General

Rule 9.13.2 Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids

Rule 9.13.3 Classification of Waters

Rule 9.13.4 Activities on Class C Waters

Rule 9.13.5 Boats

Rule 9.13.6 Charter Vessels

General activity rules

Rule 9.1 All Activities

Rule 9.6 Use of External Centres and Instructors