well.... 2 more cents worth
Basic things one really needs....
4. A basic course in swiftwater survival and rescue
5. The commonsense to not let your freaking kids play in river hydraulics without proper equipment and supervision
I really have no sympathy for the guy that drowned, not one freaking iota for him or his family. I'm glad he saved his kids, but the bottomline is that he was a complete idiot for being there, for letting his kids in there in the first place.
I have a 5-1/2 yr old who is a paddler. He never gets on the water without his equipment and it being in working order. I make him do a couple rolls and a couple wet exits before we even go down the river. When we get to a nice rapid, I usually will make him jump in a couple times and toss the throwbag to him and work on river safety and rescue. But first and foremost, I never take my eyes off him or let him do stupid acts of ignorance.