Canoeing Safety and Rescue: A Handbook of Safety and Rescue Procedures for Lake and River Canoeists


128 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-921102-11-9
DDC 797.1'22'0289





Reviewed by Anthony G. Gulig

Anthony G. Gulig teaches history at the University of Saskatchewan.


Canoeing Safety and Rescue should be read by canoeists interested in
learning how to help themselves and others in crisis situations. The
author’s ample experience in white- and flat-water paddling is
effectively related in this well-written, wonderfully illustrated work.

Covering everything from equipment considerations to trip planning,
rescue techniques, and first aid, McKown’s practical safety
suggestions are meaningful to both the novice lake paddler and expert
white-water canoeist. More than 150 photographs, diagrams, and drawings
provide the reader with information on giving first-aid and technical
assistance to canoeists in emergency situations.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this book is its thoughtful
approach to solving accident-related problems that stem from both human
error and circumstances beyond the control of those involved (e.g.,
equipment failure). Careful reading of this book and frequent practice
of the techniques described should eliminate the most deadly factor in
canoeing accidents—panic.

Although the author emphasizes that good safety sense and rescue
techniques cannot be learned by reading this book alone, it is still an
excellent starting point—one that clearly illustrates common and
not-so-common safety and rescue procedures. It could be used both as a
text for white-water safety instructors and as a planning guide for the
canoe tripper. Well indexed and smartly organized, the book provides
checklists for a first-aid kit, rescue equipment, and a survival kit;
the only thing missing from the lists is a copy of this book.


McKown, Doug., “Canoeing Safety and Rescue: A Handbook of Safety and Rescue Procedures for Lake and River Canoeists,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,