The Salt River is officially open for business this summer, and has already received an astonishing amount of traffic from the community. It is important to be informed of the rules for safe recreation prior to visiting the river. In order to ensure an enjoyable and memorable experience with friends and family, I have compiled an excellent list of safety tips to remember and constantly enforce, while cruising down the river this summer and reduce the risk of personal injury.
It is critical to understand that the Salt River is located on an Indian Reservation, meaning that the tribe has jurisdiction for all suits against the Tribe. If an injury were to occur during your visit at the river, the homeowner responsible for the injured party would be liable and eligible to be sued. That is why the tips below are crucial to follow and understand to protect yourself and your friends from being sued.
I cannot stress enough the importance of regulating alcohol consumption and assigning the role of a designated driver to a specific person in the party. If a driver is pulled over after having been drinking, the fines can excel up to $2900, carry up to six months of jail time on the first offense and a two-year suspension of license. In addition, if a passenger is injured in an accident with a drunk driver, the DUI fines still apply with an additional liability for the driver to be sued by the passenger. All individuals in the car are in danger if a designated driver is not secured prior to alcohol consumption, and the result will be severely life changing.
Here are some tips to keep you injury free:
- Drink Water: While this may come across as an obvious piece of advice, it is imperative to drink an excessive amount of water while visiting and enjoying the Salt River. Arizona has already set heat records this season, thus staying hydrated will prevent health risks while experiencing all that the river has to offer.
- Wear Sunscreen: Salt River activities have been known to turn into an all-day event, even if a smaller amount of time had previously been allotted. Therefore, it is crucial to apply a generous amount of sunscreen and bring enough to the river to last all day.
- Bring Food: Not only is it important to eat a nutritious breakfast before heading to the river, it is necessary to pack portable snacks that will satisfy hunger while remaining under the sun.
- Water Shoes: Water shoes may not be the most attractive shields for your feet, but are essential in concealing your feet from all the underwater dangers that are not visible from the surface. Like they say, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Bungee Cords: While traveling down the river, a bungee cord may become necessary if the party wants to keep all members together. Although it is a slow-moving river, currents can tend to pick up speed, causing tubes to separate if not previously tied together. It is recommended to tie-up with members of your group, so you do not get separated or injured. If you are not attached to others in your party, you have a higher chance of being flipped over or pulled under the rapids.
- Have a plan of action: In case you become separated from your party, have a meeting place set so you are not “stranded” in the heat, which could lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion.