Rafting SafetyRafting is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities available. However, as with all adventure activities there is inherent risk. Choosing a professionally managed and operated company with high safety standards should be your number one priority when booking a rafting adventure.
REO has 35 years of operating excellence. We have a stellar safety record and a solid reputation as an innovator in customer care and service in British Columbia. REO CEO Bryan Fogelman pioneered the first-ever paddle rafting trips on 7 rivers in British Columbia in the early 1980's. REO's home, the Nahatlatch River, is Bryan's absolute #1 favourite!
Strong Leadership & Management.Founder and President, Bryan Fogelman, started REO after completing a Masters degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University - go figure! But at that time, all the exciting, amazing rivers that REO runs today had never been rafted commercially. So Bryan set out to explore and find the very best rivers for rafting, including the Nahatlatch River, the home of the REO Rafting Resort.
Bryan was President of the River Outfitters Association of BC in 1988 and helped to implement the most comprehensive river rafting regulations in the world. Also, Bryan and the Association initiated an extensive raft guide examination and licensing program and river-specific operating guidelines for over 100 rivers in British Columbia.
Judgement and leadership by risk management decision-makers is the key to ensuring guest safety. All the training, certifications and experience of the guide crew is meaningless if proper decisions are not made.
At REO, we have specific rafting protocols for every rapid and every water level on the Nahatlatch. At certain water levels, we close certain sections of the river to maintain strict safety guidelines. By implementing such comprehensive guidelines, REO has been able to provide quality rafting experiences to over 88,000 guests from around the world.
More senior guides.REO is fortunate to attract the best guiding talent in the country and from around the world. Our wilderness resort and the range of Class 3-5 whitewater available at our doorstep, is a major drawing card for the best raft guides in the world. The Nahatlatch and Stein, our premier rivers, are two of the most continuous and exciting rafting runs in Canada. Our guides are challenged day in and day out, and this challenge attracts true whitewater professionals.
The right equipment.All the best whitewater gear for rafting is provided by REO, including wetsuits, lifejackets, paddling jackets, and helmets. We use full-body O'Neill wetsuits to maximize your comfort & safety.
Safety Kayakers/Safety Rafts.REO provides safety kayakers or safety rafts on the Nahatlatch and many other rivers to enhance customer safety and service. Each safety kayaker that accompanies a trip will increase the overall safety margin. Our safety kayakers are Class V experts capable of making fast, effective rescues and assisting swimmers back to their rafts.
REO was the first company in BC to provide safety kayakers on our Nahatlatch trips over 25 years ago. Today, many rafting companies still do not provide this safety service while operating on rivers of a similar difficulty.
Best guide-to-guest ratio.REO provides one certified guide for every 4-8 guests, the best service and safety ratio in the industry. Compare our small rafts to other companies that take over 20 people in one raft.....in this case, size matters! These companies say that larger boats are safer. What is true is that the revenues per raft are much higher. We believe a high guide-to-guest ratio is better. And our smaller rafts are more responsive and more fun. Why drive a station wagon when you can drive a Ferrari?
Superb safety talks and operating standards.REO takes great pride in presenting an interesting and complete safety briefing prior to each trip. Our most experienced senior guides and safety kayakers present these safety talks. Following our talk, each guest is asked to perform certain safety drills including using proper paddle commands, pulling a swimmer into a raft and swimming an easy section of whitewater.
At difficult rapids, guests are given the option to get out of the raft and portage the rapid on shore, or to stay in the raft and assume the added risk of the paddling the advanced rapids. By providing choices, we will not exceed our guests comfort zone, and chances are they will come back time and time again. Veteran paddlers who want the most extreme runs can request to be assigned to our most hardcore senior guides.
All participants must sign a waiver and release of liability form prior to trip departure. These are legally binding documents and will limit your ability to sue REO for damages that may occur. REO has a perfect safety record with 35 years of operation on many of the most challenging rivers that are rafted in Canada. However, past performance does not imply that any given trip will be safe and that no losses or damages will occur. Participants must be prepared, use good judgement, and follow the safety procedures and instruction provided. Those that do not adhere to our safety standards and guidelines will not be allowed to continue the trip.