How to Make a Shallow Water Crossing
One of the seven pillars of becoming a better rescuer is being able to wade or cross in shallow water. There are a variety of different techniques that we can use for this, including a series of formalized techniques, such as one person with a paddle, line a stern, triangle of support, or the wedge.
Sometimes we don't have enough people to do a formalized technique, and we want to be able to move out and get out quickly, so we may use an improvised technique. With our improvised technique, a couple of the key things that we may want to look at, is firstly trying to cross, working perpendicular to the current so we're sideways to the current. That reduces our profile of the force of the water against us. Want to try to avoid pointing straight down stream, where our feet can sometimes act like hooks, possibly to get caught between cracks in rock or any type of nook or cranny on the bottom of the river.
When we're trying to use an improvised technique, we want to try and work our way across using a fairly athletic stance, bending our knees, possibly even reaching out with our hands to grab onto either rocks just below the surface of the water or some other type of balance point, moving around to work our way across the river.
There are a variety of different techniques that we can use in the shallow water crossing. Some are more formalized, and some are more improvised. And sometimes, you may just have to get out there and do it.