Swiftwater Safety and Rescue

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Ideal training for individuals working, traveling, or playing in and around rivers. Dry land training provides in-depth analysis of river features, morphology, and hazards, an overview of the effects of cold water on the human body and related first aid skills, safety equipment options, principles of rescue, and basic rescue techniques.

Practical training challenges candidates to become comfortable at reading river features, identifying safe routes for wading, swimming, and paddling through rapids, all while maintain heightened situational awareness.

Rescue techniques practiced include talk rescues, throwbagging, mechanical advantage systems, strong swimmer rescuers, and techniques for quickly and safely dealing with specific hazards such as strainers, sweepers, hydraulics, and foot entrapments.

Course Content

  • Identify and explain hazards in and around swiftwater
  • Describe accident prevention strategies, including equipment, risk assessment, emergency planning and scene management 
  • Illustrate various methods to ensure clear communication in a swiftwater environment 
  • Demonstrate the safe and effective use of a throw bag in still and moving water situations 
  • Demonstrate ability to tie and use appropriate knots in a variety of swiftwater scenarios 
  • Demonstrate self-rescue skills including swimming and river exit strategies in a Class II rapid 
  • Demonstrate shore and/or boat and water-based rescue techniques 
  • Understand risks involved while trying to rescue others and strategies that can be used to circumvent or mitigate those risks 
  • Demonstrate safety and control in rescue situations 

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