When on a river you are likely to come into contact with another water craft, in order to ensure the safety of both yourself and others on the river it is important to be aware of the following signals.


There is a hazard ahead. Wait for all clear sign before proceeding.

Form a horizontal bar with your outstretched arm or paddle. Those seeing the signal should pass it on to others on the river that may not see it.

Help/ Emergency

Three (3) long blasts on a whistle while waving a paddle (or arms) overhead.

If you do not have a whistle, use the visual signal. A whistle is more convenient if attached to your PFD.

All Clear/ Come ahead

Proceed down the centre of the river or in the direction being pointed to.

Put your paddle vertically in the air with the blade flat to ensure maximum visibility. You may also use your arms—raise them vertically.

If you wish to signal what path to go on, angle your arm or paddle towards said path.

Never angle the signal towards the obstacle you are trying to avoid.

I’m Okay

Pat the top of your head repeatedly while pointing your elbow outwards toward the side.