Swiftwater Rescue Course

Swiftwater Recue Course

ACA Accredited 2-day Course

Colorado Swiftwater Rescue Courses

Courses accredited through the ACA, the American Canoe Association

Gain the skills and confidence needed in swiftwater rescue situations. Colorado Rafting Company is committed to providing high-quality education to those seeking instruction in river related activities. Our ACA-certified instructors have years of experience and take our courses beyond the requirements to best prepare students to become more competent, confident, and skilled in swiftwater situations.  

ACA Level 4: Swiftwater Rescue Course

This 2-day Swiftwater Rescue course teaches recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and rescue techniques for paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly used skills. Fundamental and more advanced techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as strainers, rescue vest applications, entrapments, and pins, also are practiced. Scenarios will provide an opportunity for participants to practice their skills both individually and within a team/group context.

Swiftwater Rescue Course Objectives

• Promote proactive prevention of river accidents and injuries.

• Develop and practice key self-rescue skills.

• Identify and avoid river hazards by understanding hydrology, hazards, and river features.

• Focus on fast, low-risk strategies for early management of river accidents

• Develop and practice methods for recovering swimmers, and loose boats and equipment

• Develop and practice more advanced rope-based and in-water skills

• Gain experience using the rescue PFD, and understand its strengths and weaknesses

• Utilize rescue scene management principles needed within a paddling group

Course Prerequisites

All paddle craft are welcome. Boaters should be able to competently maneuver their craft in Class I-II rapids. 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. Participants should dress appropriately for weather and temperature and expect to be in the water for extended periods of time.

Required Gear

  • PFD designed for whitewater use
  • Whitewater helmet
  • Protective clothing suitable for extended swimming in cold water
  • Protective footwear
  • Boat and paddle (duckies and SUP’s available for rent)
  • Whistle
  • Throw bag
  • 15+ feet of one inch tubular nylon webbing,
  • 2 locking carabiners
  • 2 prussic loops.

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