PHILADELPHIA CANOE CLUB
POLICY ON TRIP INSURANCE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
EFFECTIVE MAY 7, 2012
At the May 7, 2012 Board of Directors meeting, the following policy was approved with regard to insurance for our paddling trips and the responsibilities of trip participants and Trip Coordinators.
This policy will be posted on the PCC website http://www.philacanoe.org/ in the PCC Policies and Practices Manual and in the “Trips” section, under both Flatwater Trips and Whitewater Trips. It will also be posted in the Canews along with the Trip Schedule, and it will be posted on the PCC bulletin board.
All Trip Coordinators have the following three options with regard to insuring their trips:
- American Canoe Association Insurance. American Canoe Association insurance will be made available, through the Philadelphia Canoe Club, to any Trip Coordinator requesting such insurance. If the Trip Coordinator requests such insurance, the Trip Coordinator must follow the administrative requirements of the American Canoe Association and the Philadelphia Canoe Club. Those requirements are:
- Notifying the Philadelphia Canoe Club Insurance Coordinator that they would like insurance coverage for a specific activity, date, state, and venue.
- Notifying the Insurance Coordinator of any venue change or cancellation as soon as possible before their trip.
- Bringing to the put-in a sufficient supply of current American Canoe Association waivers and pens for signing the waivers.
- Insuring that all participants sign an American Canoe Association waiver at the put-in on the day of the trip.
- Collecting all fees required by the American Canoe Association.
- Carrying and waterproofing copies of the American Canoe Association Incident Report and pens on the trip.
- Recording and reporting any incidents that may occur on the trip according to the American Canoe Association requirements.
- Turning in all waivers, fees and Incident Reports (if necessary) to the Insurance Coordinator within 24 hours after the trip.
- PCC Waiver and Release. Have all trip participants sign a current Philadelphia Canoe Club Waiver and Release form at the put-in before the trip. The current PCC Waiver and Release may be downloaded and copied from the PCC website under the link “Records, Rules and Forms.” These signed waivers should be returned to the Insurance Coordinator within 24 hours after the trip. This waiver provides no insurance coverage for the Philadelphia Canoe Club or for the Trip Coordinator but offers considerable protection from liability for PCC, its officers, directors, instructors, Trip Coordinators, and trip participants in the event of a lawsuit against any of them. This waiver does not provide for legal representation.
- Self-Insurance. Trip Coordinators have the option of not covering their trips with any insurance or waivers. In the event that a lawsuit or other claim is brought against the Trip Coordinator for personal or property injury/loss arising from the trip, the Trip Coordinator assumes responsibility for his or her own defense and for associated losses, damages, and expenses.
TRIP PARTICIPANTS’ RESPONSIBILITIES
It is the policy of the Philadelphia Canoe Club to consider all club trips posted in the “Canews” or on our website (Philacanoe.org) as “Common Adventures.” That is, all participants share the risks and each participant is responsible for their own safety, generally, and specifically as follows:
- All participants are equal partners, sharing the risks involved in a trip.
- The Trip Coordinator facilitates the trip and arranges for meeting places and times.
- The Trip Coordinator is not a guide nor do they lead the trip or decide who should or should not attend.
- All participants should be familiar with and follow the American Canoe Association’s “Top 10 Safety Tips” http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=top_10 and/or the American Whitewater Safety Code, as applicable. http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/safety:start?.
- All participants must decide:
- Whether or not to join the trip based on an honest evaluation of their personal skill.
- Whether or not to launch on the day of the trip based on water and weather conditions at the scene.
- What equipment to take on the trip.
- Whether or not to run, scout or portage a rapid.
- Whether or not to participate in a rescue.
- Whether or not to pass up any walk-out or take-out opportunity.
- All participants acknowledge and accept that:
- Boating is hazardous.
- Changing conditions, temperature, high water and other hazards, sometimes in remote locations, can make rescue difficult.
- They are responsible for learning and practicing the techniques necessary to recognize and avoid paddling and other trip hazards.
- They are responsible for acquiring boating safety and rescue skills commensurate with the level of difficulty of the river or other body of water on which they are paddling.
- They are responsible for complying with all federal, state and local laws/regulations regarding life jackets (personal flotation devices – PFDs). Federal law requires all children under the age of 13 to wear life jackets. PA and NJ law require that a functional, wearable, appropriately sized PFD be readily accessible for each person in a boat. PA law requires anyone in a canoe or kayak to wear a PFD from November 1 through April 30th. PCC policy requires PFDs to be worn on all whitewater trips and by each trip participant who borrows a PCC boat.
- Helmets are required for all whitewater trips.
- Boats, gear and clothing must be appropriate for the expected conditions.
- They are responsible for learning about proper equipment under generally accepted safe boating standards.
Trip Coordinators are experienced and dedicated members of the Philadelphia Canoe Club. They are not required to have formal training in boating skills, trip management, boating safety skills, first aid or CPR. The trip participant is welcome to ask about the level of the Trip Coordinator’s skills. It is the participant’s decision whether the Trip coordinator’s qualifications are satisfactory.
The function of the Trip Coordinator is to gather the participants, arrange a shuttle, and manage the time frame of the outing. It is possible that conditions such as high water or changing weather will alter the expectations of the trip.
The Trip Coordinator expects the participants to have the skills necessary to handle the difficulty rating of the river or other body of water. However, the Trip Coordinator is not responsible for judging the competency of the participant’s boating skills or equipment. The Trip Coordinator may open a dialogue to determine the participant’s comfort level on the trip. Together they may examine the participant’s qualifications and come to a mutual decision about participation. However, the Trip Coordinator gives no assurance that any such mutual decisions are correct. The participant is solely responsible for his or her own safety.