Arkansas Canoe Club

Swiftwater Rescue

This course emphasizes rescue knowledge and skills for class II river paddling and is aimed at all paddlers.  The format is 2 days of both land-based/classroom topics and in-water river drills.

Participants should be prepared to dress for river activities—helmet, PFD, wetsuit (protects against bruising, bumps, and scrapes –full length recommended), wetsuit booties or river shoes, appropriate thermal protection commensurate with weather and temperature, and throw bag (extras available if needed).  Bring your lunch, water, snacks, personal items, etc.  Please be prepared for conditions cooler than expected. 

Prerequisites:  All paddle craft are welcome. Ideally, students should be able to competently maneuver their craft in at least class II whitewater. However, all boaters, and non-boaters with an interest in swiftwater rescue (e.g., professional rescuers), will benefit from the class. Participants should be in good health and overall fitness, possess solid swimming ability, and be comfortable swimming in moving current during river drills. 

The minimum age for SWR is 14.  

River site:  Class II whitewater

Recommended references:

  • Whitewater Rescue Manual by Walbridge & Sundmacher, 1995
  • River Rescue by Les Bechdel & Slim Ray, 1995
  • Whitewater Self-Defense video by Performance Video, 1998

Goals of the SWR class:

  • HAVE FUN learning in a river environment
  • Promote the concept of prevention for safe river trips
  • Training and practice in avoiding potentially dangerous situations
  • Practice defensive and aggressive swimming techniques useful for effecting self-rescue
  • Learn to render on-shore assistance to other paddlers with a throw bag and coiled rope
  • Practice recovering people and equipment from moving water
  • Learn Anchors and Mechanical Haul Systems

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software