If you choose to be assessed in canoe, please contact the assessor prior to the course to confirm appropriate boat and equipment.
This course also provides the second component, river safety and rescue and assessment for the Whitewater Guide. Please be review the assessment criteria for Rescue and guiding and in the craft you will use.
River Rescue-2 Course
Date: 19-20 Nov. 2022 Venue: TBA (Cotter Junction Murrumbidgee River)
For David Fisher, last updated by Ian Royds 6/08/2022
Course Overview: The course teaches recognition and avoidance of common river hazards. As Rescue 1 is a
prerequisite for Rescue 2, we will review some self-rescue techniques from Rescue-1 in this course, which focuses on
rescue techniques for paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly
used skills. 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. There will be one overnight camp
at (Cotter camp ground or site TBA).
Promote proactive prevention of river accidents and injuries. Paddler roles identified and allocated before the
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 it’s strengths and weaknesses
Utilize rescue scene management principles needed within a paddling group
Essential Eligibility Criteria:
In order to participate in an AC Skills Course, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria:
Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities listed in the course outline while also
maintaining an appropriate and safe body position
Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be
able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water
Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other course participants
Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion
Ian Royds is a Senior Whitewater Instructor and Assessor with 50 years of white water experience and brings the
ability to draw knowledge and skills from participants into a collaborative learning experience.
The content covered and sequence of instruction may be adjusted to best fit the participant’s needs, location and time
Introduction, Expectations, & Logistics
The Paddling Environment and Personal Preparation
Hazards and Hydrology - Strainers
Accident avoidance and proactive rescue
Locate, access and assess, stabilize and transport
Prioritizing the rescue
Rescue Vest (Not a necessity for the course, however could be useful)
Line Ferries and Line Crossings
How do you get a line across the river?
Mechanical Advantage, Vector pull, Z drag 3:1
Entrapment Recue: Boat based, shore based, swimmer based
Scenarios managing common river problems, including multiple swimmers and loose gear
What to Bring:
Wetsuit (full suit; 3mm+,) or a Dry suit with warm top and bottom layers
Neoprene Booties (with soles, or neoprene socks and good fitting water shoes)
Helmet (specialised for white water)
PFD (type III or Type V special use). We will be doing live bait swims.
Neoprene skull cap or thin fleece hat for under helmet (if you tend to be cold)
Mesh bag(s) for wet gear storage (or trash bags)
2 locking karabiners
2 prussic loops
15 + feet one inch tubular webbing (if available but not required)
Pin kit / pulleys (if available but not required)
Your own lunch, snacks and drinks for each day
Dry Clothing Recommendations:
Be prepared for an outdoor classroom setting, (possible warm, cold, wind, rain…).
Long underwear tops and bottoms
Fleece vest, top, warm jacket
Waterproof jacket and pants (rain gear)
Quick dry pants
Please bring a pad and paper; there is no printed material required for this course.
Assessment can be done in kayak or canoe but most of the course requires neither.
8.30 am Meet and greet at (Cotter Junction)
9.00 Introduction, objectives, gauge experience of participants
Sign Covid and activity Risk Waivers
Please print out and bring your own itinerary and any theory sheets
Review some Rescue-1 knowledge: Rescue Principles, Incident Command System (risk management in rescue
situations), River Hydrology & Hazards, Rescue Equipment, personal equipment
10.45 Rescue-2 Knowledge component (on land)
Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the following:
Group safety gear that can assist in rescues (tight group control, trip plan, ropes, knives, prussiks etc)
Manufacturer specifications of rescue equipment
Range and limitation of communication systems—EPIRBs, PLB's, satellite phones, mobiles
Roles and group management in rescue
(Incident Command System)
Range and limitations of different rescue and retrieval methods
(Reach, Throw, Row, Go, Tow, Helo)
Risk management in rescue situations
Guidelines for safe rope usage
Knots, anchors, mechanical advantage systems applicable for whitewater rescue situations (butterfly knot, Munter
hitch, highwayman’s hitch, tape knot, figure of 8 knot, bowline…)
Throw bag use in situations with multiple swimmers
Hydrology of hazards
Management of most frequent river injuries
12.30 Lunch (get changed)
Demonstrate the ability to perform the following in Grade 2+ white water:
Use a combination of swimming techniques to negotiate changing currents and hazards including:
- swimming techniques to negotiate logs or strainers (swim artificial strainer, eddy roll across eddy lines)
- using a mix of defensive and aggressive swimming to self-rescue or avoid hazards in a rapid
Use the following techniques effectively to rescue swimmers:
- throw bag use for multiple swimmers, including rope coil throws. Safe rope useage
- deck carry across current
- how to get a rope across the river
- snag lines, tag lines, tension diagonals
- shallow water crossing (wading)
Use the following techniques to perform gear retrieval:
- towing using a tow line (various hitch methods)
- vector pulls
- Z-drag 3:1 (including pig-rig version)
8.30 am Experience and Communication Component (participants will be given opportunities to practice a
range of scenarios).
Discuss (on land) trip preparedness including logistics, retrieval systems, risk assessment, first aid,
patient care, evacuation procedures, communication systems (verbal, whistle, signals, external
electronic systems), pins & wraps, 2 & 4 point boat tethers, live bait rescues
10.00 Break (get changed)
10.30 Experience: Practice rescue scenarios, the paddler must have experience in managing rescues with
multiple swimmers in Grade 2-3 white water through scenarios, demonstrating the following:
- assessing (and, if necessary, reassessing) the situation
- assessment and management of risks, including to self and other group members (dangerXconsequence)
- determination of priorities
- management of other group members including role allocation
- selection of a suitable rescue method (including R3 tethered swim if time permits)
- selection of a suitable gear retrieval method
- selection of suitable equipment for rescue and retrieval
- carrying out an effective gear retrieval using a suitable method
- management of evacuation
- modifying plans as necessary
1.30 Continue with rescue scenarios
Demonstrate the ability to:
Establish, and operate by, a chain of command
- communicate rescue priorities and plans prior to rescue
- communicate during the rescue to assist in continually assessing the situation
- use a range of communication methods with the swimmer/s, or other rescuers and other group members,
including whistle, verbal and non-verbal methods
- apply decision-making skills
- use appropriate communication systems for external communication
3.30 Change into dry clothes, complete any paperwork and discuss further options for learning.
4.30 Drive home
Acceptance of Risk and Waiver of Liability
Participants sign a ‘Risk Waiver of Liability’ at time of registration online if they agree to the level of risks identified as
being acceptable. Participants will be required to read the Risk Assessment provided for the course at the course.
12 @$195 non members and $165 Members (contact L.Parker at PNSW)
Camping costs borne by participants
Don’t forget there is a Rescue-2 Award at $20 each. This award certificate is an optional extra for those who “pass” all
requirements and want a paper record.
There is no course manual available for this course. However, participants can access some online resources to
familiarise themselves with the principles of rescue at: www.canoe.org.au >ww.rescue pdf.
The Mountain Rescue Association, USA; have an online 86-page manual at mra.org or nps-swiftwater-rescue-manual-
There are numerous River Rescue books available in print and for Kindle or App.
A payment of $..................... must be made to PNSW by September 10. Your payment will be forfeited if you cancel
within 7 days of the course. A cancellation fee of $20 will be charged for any other cancellation.
Make your full payment of $............. to PaddleNSW at ……………………………………………………………..
Payment can be made by Cheque or Credit Card
Enclosed is my payment for Whitewater Rescue-2 Course of $.................. per person.
I am paying by Cheque Visa Mastercard …………….
Credit Card Number: …………………………………………………….Expiry Date: ………………………
Name on card: ……………………………………………….. Signature: …………………………………………….