Whitewater Rescue Level 2 - Canoe

Qualification Definition

The holder of this qualification has demonstrated the skills and knowledge to manage rescue situations from a canoe and gear retrieval in Grade 2 Whitewater.


All skills to be performed in Grade 2 water
Rope workDemonstrate:
  • Bowline
  • Double Fisherman's knot
  • Round turn and two half hitches
  • Clove hitch
  • Highwayman's hitch
  • Truckies hitch
  • Prusik loop
  • Figure 8 on the bight
  • No-knot(friction hitch)
  • Munter (Italian) hitch
Perform self and assisted rescuesSelf rescue:
  • Capsize and wet exit
  • Swim to shore with craft and paddle
  • Defensive swim to remain in safe position
  • Aggressive swim to reach shore or an eddy
  • Retrieve a craft from a current
  • Drain craft
Shallow water crossing:
  • Wade through shallow water
Assisted rescue:
  • Bulldoze capsized craft into eddy or shore
  • Buddy bow rescue
  • Throw bag, including rope coil throws, pendulum swing into shore
  • Bow rescue off another craft
  • X rescue
For all rescues an assessment of the situation is conducted and appropriate technique selected.
Rescues are performed in a timely manner (no time wasted) and promotes safety to all involved and is deemed to work in all conditions.
Good communication with Rescuee at all times.
Perform additional rescuesSwimming techniques to negotiate logs or strainers.
Use the following techniques effectively to rescue swimmers:
  • reaching
  • throw bag use for multiple swimmers, including rope coil throws
  • snag lines
  • shallow water crossing (wading)
Use the following techniques to perform gear retrieval:
  • Towing using towline
  • Vector pulls
  • Z-drag 3:1
Assessment of the situation.
Assessment and management of risks, including to self and other group members.
Determination of priorities.
Management of other group members including role allocation.
Selection of a suitable rescue method.
Selection of a suitable gear retrieval method.
Selection of suitable equipment for rescue and retrieval.
Carrying out an effective rescue of multiple swimmers using a suitable method.
Management of evacuation.
Modifying plans as necessary.
Accept a towCalm is maintained
Craft kept stable and balanced
Provide assistance to Rescuer through kicking &/or swim strokes
Perform a towDemonstrate:
  • Short tow
  • Contact tow
  • Arms as tows
Tows are performed using quick release system that floats if disconnected.
Tows are performed to promote safety to all.


Knowledge level: General
HydrologyKnowledge of:
  • River grading: 1 - 6
  • Stoppers
  • Waves
  • Strainers
  • Eddies
  • Holes
  • Flow dynamics
  • Erosion
  • Weirs
Hazard identification and risk managementAble to identify risks and causal factors for a Whitewater trip and also able to identify management strategies to reduce any risks.
Risks may include:
  • Separation
  • Drowning
  • Sunburn
  • Hypothermia
  • Hyperthermia
  • Entrapment
Store, operate and maintain appropriate rescue equipmentEquipment to include but not limited to:
  • Carabiners
  • Pulleys
  • Static rope
Rescue ManagementRoles and group management in rescue.
Range and limitations of different rescue and retrieval methods.
Risk management in rescue situations.
Hydrology of hazards.
Management of most frequent river injuries.
Patient care.


Group participants: Novice paddlers
Rescue communicationDemonstrate 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, other rescuers and other group members, including whistle, verbal and non-verbal methods


On water activities to be carried out in a variety of locations and conditions
Minimum log book requirementIn the previous three years:
  • Ten Grade 2 Whitewater activities of a minimum of two hours duration

Assessment Tasks

The following tasks should be completed prior to final assessment. Links to these tasks are made available by clicking the View Resources button adjacent to your course enrolment on the Paddle Education site.
QuizRelevant knowledge quiz(zes) completed by participant and results viewed