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9

No. Not reliably. But you only need to be wrong once. Depending on how abrupt the drop is, you may only see a horizon line, with no white caps from rapids below. If there is enough wind to put riffles on the water, you may not notice it. An abrupt drop will have all the noise hidden below the horizon, so sound will be substantially attenuated. Factors ...


2

You can usually notice the noise. And if the river is loud, then be triple careful. But generally, it's not important what you notice, but what you don't notice. Can you see water 100m in front of you? Great, than you know, if the next 100 meters are safe. But you have no idea if the 101 meter is still safe. Your security margin is as far as you can see. ...


1

It is usually much easier to climb up a steep hill, than climb down again. Then you fall and die. It is usually much easier to eel your way into a tight spot than out again. You get stuck, you die. Similarly, it is much easier to enter a river, than to swim back to shore and climb out of it. You drown and die. Stop. Think. Observe. Pull Out. OR Pursue. Do ...


14

It's always risky to be on a river that you have no information about. Apart from waterfalls there could be other dangers such as rapids, rocks under the surface, whirlpools/undercurrents, artificial dams, ... This isn't like in the movies, where the protagonists float down a calm river on a flimsy boat until they see from afar the misty cloud of a waterfall....


6

Of course you should research your rivers beforehand, and have a decent idea of where the major hazards are, but even assuming you've done so and are expecting them, it's still necessary to detect the hazards as you approach, and this is something covered in the kayak leader training I've done (I know also canoe leader training is similar, and would expect ...


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