Rescue for River Runners (R3) Recreational (Level 1)

Length: 2 days


This dynamic curriculum is specifically designed for river guides, private kayakers, whitewater rafters, riverboarders and river enthusiasts! If you have taken a rescue course before or this will be your first experience with river rescue, this course is ideally suited for boaters of all kinds and all experience levels. You are guaranteed to learn a lot and have a great time!


  • 18+ years of age (16-17 with parental permission)
  • Basic swimming ability
  • In good physical condition

Required Equipment

  • Drysuit or wetsuit ( wetsuit rentals available)
  • Personal flotation device (Provided)
  • Water sport helmet (Provided)
  • Neoprene gloves (optional)
  • Neoprene footwear with a good walking sole, wading boots, or running shoes
  • Layers of wool or fleece clothing for under the drysuit/wetsuit including sweater, pants, gloves, socks
General Objectives
  • To develop a sense of confidence and necessary skills for those who work and play in a swiftwater environment.
  • Develop ability to self rescue and rescue others in moving water situations.
  • Familiarize and train the student in utilization of standard paddling gear in rescue situations.

Course Outline

Day 1: River Session

  • A review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Basic river signals
  • Throw bagging
  • Shallow water crossings
  • Swimming skills
  • Hazard avoidance
  • Basic foot and body entrapment rescue techniques
  • Combat and rescue swimming
  • Rope work

Day 2: River Session

  • Review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Rope work for wraps, pins, and flips
  • Technical problem (swiftwater rescue scenario)
  • Debrief

Take Aways

  • Rescue 3’s River Rescue manual
  • Personalized skill sheet (training record) signed by the instructor (valuable document for risk management)
  • Registration of training record in Rescue 3’s international database
  • Wallet card with personal Rescue 3 registration number and date of certification
  • Certificate of Completion
**Course descriptions are from Raven Rescue**