Rule 1 (LRR Safety Rule)

Participants are responsible for their own safety at all times. This rule supersedes all rules and is the most important rule.   

LRR does not and cannot ensure your safety, nor does it take any responsibility for your safety.  These are dangerous events by their very nature. Hypothermia, drowning, blunt-force trauma, poisonous plants/wildlife, carnivorous wildlife, human activity and many other things are dangers in LRR Events.  

By signing up for an LRR event, participants warrant that they have sufficient expertise and background knowledge to understand and mitigate all of the risks and dangers associated with travel by small boat in the wilderness area of the event for which they have registered. Participants further warrant that they will take responsibility for their own safety and will use good judgment and expertise to ensure their own safety.

LRR Events are open to anyone 18 years of age or older, or anyone under 18 years of age accompanied by a parent or guardian. The participating parent or guardian is responsible for the safety of any participant under 18 years of age.

Rule 2 (Rules subject to change)

With the exception of the Safety Rule, all rules are subject to change as deemed prudent or necessary by LRR officials.

Rule 3 (Disqualification)

LRR and/or it’s representatives reserve(s) the right to disqualify any participant for any reason.

Rule 4 (Equipment)  

It is your responsibility to have all the necessary equipment required for this event by LRR, as well as any equipment needed for your chosen vessel, yourself and your crew members. LRR’s equipment requirement is not meant as advice, it is required equipment. You will likely need equipment LRR does not require.  LRR is not responsible for your equipment short-comings or failures. Remember Rule 1 (The Safety Rule) when selecting equipment for an LRR Event.   

Required equipment includes:

a.       Coast Guard approved PFD. It is required that participants wear the PFD at all times while on or near the water.

b.      A tent or other shelter from weather and insects

c.       Suitable sleeping bag or other sleeping system for temperatures from 25 degrees F and above. The sleeping bag must be stored in a waterproof container or bag.

d.      Suitable clothing for temperatures from 25 degrees F and above.

e.       A spare set of clothing stored in a waterproof container.

f.       A method of starting fire

g.      A method of boiling water

h.      A PLB (Recommended)

i.        A Mobile Phone in a waterproof case, bag or container.

j.        A satellite tracking device (see tracking device rules for options)

k.      Tools and repair kit for your boat

l.        A knife

m.    Adequate protection from sunburn and insects

n.      Navigation lights adequate for the vessel by Coast Guard Regulations

o.      First Aid Kit

p.      All Coast Guard and SCDNR required equipment and required vessel registration

q.      Adequate water and food to reach the next point and time at which supplies can be obtained on the course.

                  r.    A method of obtaining weather reports

                        (smartphone, vhf with weather band, or weather radio)

                  s.  (LRR Challenge requirement) A SPOT satellite tracker.


Rule 5 (Waiver)

You are required to sign a waiver and thereby to agree that: all people, businesses or other entities involved with any LRR event shall be held harmless in relationship to your participating in an LRR event. Failure to sign the required waiver or waivers will disqualify you from the event and you will lose your entry fee if you fail to do so before the entry deadline.

Rule 6 (Sustenance)  

You must know your requirements for food and hydration (and medication).  You are fully responsible for properly preparing for multiple days without the ability to resupply.

Rule 7 (Cancellation)

There are no refunds after the official start of any LRR event in the case of cancellation for any reason.

LRR may cancel any event for any reason. If LRR cancels an event before the start, entrance fees will be refunded minus any financial transaction fees incurred processing payments. LRR events will not likely be cancelled due to weather conditions. In the unlikely event LRR cancels an event due to weather conditions, or other hazardous conditions, entrants will be given credit for entry in a future comparable LRR event of their choosing. Should an event be cancelled due to governmental entities after the start, there will be no refunds.

Rule 8 (Contracts)

LRR has no contractual duty to anyone.  Signing the waiver(s) does not constitute a contract between LRR and any participant.  LRR shall remain contractually bound by only those with which LRR has entered into explicit written contracts.  No member of the LRR staff, volunteers, race officials or otherwise, may enter into any contract, written or verbal.

Rule 9 (Navigation)

Safe and proper navigation is the full responsibility of the participant.  Any maps, routes, waypoints, GPS coordinates, warnings etc. provided by LRR are for reference only, and are not intended to ensure safe navigation.  Participants must properly plan their routes between the start, the checkpoints, and the finish. Participants must familiarize themselves with any potential hazards and difficulties involved therein.

Rule 10 (No Trespassing)

Making stops and/or camping is inevitable in most LRR events.  Participants must take responsibility not to trespass on private land or on restricted government land. It is the full responsibility of the Participant(s) to know the area around them and to act accordingly. LRR takes no responsibility whatsoever for the consequences of trespassing by any participant. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. See the Safety Rule.

Rule 11 (Keep in contact)

All participants are required to have access to a waterproof mobile phone with ample battery supply to communicate throughout the event. Participants must be able to operate the mobile phone without compromising the waterproof nature of the device. (Dry bags designed for phones, Lifeproof/Otterbox waterproof cases or similar cases satisfy this requirement).

Participants must check in with race officials and their shore contact: at least once every 24 hours, upon reaching a checkpoint, and upon leaving a checkpoint.  LRR highly encourages participants to check in as frequently as is prudent and possible.

If you disregard this rule, LRR will coordinate with your shore contact and determine a plan of action as appropriate.  You may be held responsible for search and rescue costs.  LRR assumes no liability whatsoever for search and rescue costs, whether such search and rescue is necessary or not.

Rule 12 (Weather)

You are responsible for knowing the weather forecast.  LRR will not communicate to participants any weather warnings, small craft advisories or otherwise.  Participants must routinely check the weather forecast on their VHF weather band, weather radio, or mobile phone, and act prudently and accordingly.  See Rule 1 (the Safety Rule).

Completion deadlines will be extended for the amount of time an LRR Course is under a severe weather advisory or a small craft advisory. The awards ceremony will take place at the scheduled time, however participants finishing within the allotted time plus extended time for severe weather will receive credit for completing the LRR Event.

Rule 13 (Dropping out)

If you decide to drop out of an LRR event, you are on your own. If you fail to inform LRR officials that you have dropped out, you may be liable for search and rescue expenses. Further, LRR will not assist you in transportation or otherwise. You are responsible for your own safety and recovery. See the Safety Rule.

DO NOT USE YOUR PLB UNLESS YOU ARE IN GRAVE AND IMMENENT DANGER.  The PLB will alert various authorities such as the Coast Guard to your whereabouts and a search and rescue mission will be dispatched. If you are simply dropping out and not in grave and imminent danger, please use other means of communication to arrange for your extraction.

Rule 14 (A PLB or EPIRB*)

A PLB or EPIRB is strongly recommended.

YOU MUST familiarize yourself with your PLB. Test your PLB according to the instructions provided with it.  If you activate your PLB a search and rescue mission will be dispatched.  PLBs are very serious safety devices that greatly increase the likelihood you will survive a catastrophic failure of equipment, health or navigation.  They are to be treated as last resort among your communication devices.

*EPIRB is a commonly known acronym for a locator beacon (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). Most EPIRBS are not practical for LRR events since most are affixed to the vessel. A PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), on the other hand, is meant for this type of event.  PLBs are about the size of a small mobile phone (think old-school flip phones). Common brands are McMurdo Fast Find and ACR, and they cost around $200-300.00 for basic models.  There are numerous businesses that offer PLBs for rent on a weekly or monthly basis for around $30-40 a week.

Rule 15 (Emergencies)

In the event of an emergency, please call your shore contact, 911, local law enforcement or the coast guard. Lowcountry River Rats does not have the resources available to assist in emergency situations.

Rule 16 (Laws and Regulations)

Every participant is absolutely required to familiarize themselves with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources requirements and the United States Coast Guard requirements for their vessel.  LRR may or may not do an equipment inspection.  If LRR does an equipment inspection, there is no guarantee that any such inspection will be comprehensive or sufficient.  Know the laws and regulations, AND FOLLOW THEM.

Rule 17 (Outside Assistance)

Outside assistance in the form of resupply is allowed. With the exception of towing to the nearest point at which a disabled boat may facilitate repairs, outside assistance cannot move a participant forward on the course. Family and friends are welcome to meet participants along the course to bring supplies, take participants to a restaurant for dinner, or assist in repairing a boat.

Participants may assist other participants and should do so if assistance can be provided without compromising one’s own safety or the safety of others. Participants may tow other participants to move them forward in the course. Tow of a non-motorized class vessel by a motorized class vessel may result in change of class of both vessels to the motorized class. The spirit of LRR Events is the accomplishment of traveling under participant’s own power and abilities to Edisto Beach. Before accepting outside assistance, participants should consider whether the assistance impacts the spirit of LRR events and whether it is possible and reasonable to continue without assistance. If it is possible and reasonable to continue without assistance and the outside assistance violates the spirit of LRR events, the assistance should not be accepted.

Much like Appalachian Trail thru hikers, participants are likely to randomly encounter numerous people who offer assistance along the way. When confronted with such offers of assistance, the Safety Rule and the Spirit of LRR Events should be considered. Outside assistance may cause unintended danger in many forms, including, but not limited to accidental harm to participants or intentional harm to participants. Situational awareness, good judgment and risk mitigation are part of the Safety Rule when confronted with offers of assistance.

Rule 18 (Event Timing)

Participants are timed on the LRR FRESPACE Expedition, LRR Excursion and LRR Challenge courses. A participant’s event clock runs from the official start time for the LRR Event. To receive credit for completion of an LRR Event, Participants must finish the event by the time indicated in the LRR Event schedule.

Reducing completion time or finishing an LRR Event is not worth a Participant risking property, life or health. The Safety Rule supersedes any timing or completion credit rule for LRR Events.

Rule 19 (Captain’s Meeting)

All participants must attend a mandatory captain's meeting for their event. The times and exact location of captain’s meetings will be provided to participants by email at the close of the registration and payment period. 

Rule 20 (Satellite Tracking) 

Each boat participating in an LRR event must have satellite tracking when on the water and underway. This can be accomplished two ways. 

The preferable method is a SPOT satellite messenger device. Participants using a spot must have active tracking and share their tracking page with LRR prior to the event. SPOT devices can be rented from numerous online sources. 

The second method is by a smartphone app that has a webpage indicating your current location. To use this method, the webpage must be shared with LRR and you must have sufficient phone battery to track your position throughout the course. This rule is subject to change if LRR determines a specific app is desirable for smartphones.