River Rescue Certification has been designed for you by boaters and for boaters. This course is specifically for people who are on the water and may float onto the scene of an emergency or have an emergency of their own. We teach you appropriate and preventative measures to take;  self-rescue, throw-bag rescue, thinking through a rescue are all techniques that are proven to work. We focus on skills and techniques that can be implemented with the gear that boaters typically carry with them in the frontcountry or the backcountry. Our goal is to have you in the water and learning by doing, as soon as possible. You will be taught skills and then be given the opportunity to immediately implement them. We use rescue scenarios to teach emergency management and to provide more practice time with the new skills you are learning.  


  •  Be involved in the process of learning to kayak, raft, river board or canoe.
  •  Have an understanding of basic hydrology and be familiar with identifying basic features such as an eddy, eddy line,  standing wave, hydraulic, hole, etc.
  • Have the ability to navigate a  craft in a minimum of class II water and therefore understand navigational techniques such as ferrying and catching eddies.
  • Have some familiarity with basic rescue equipment such as throw bags and carabiners.

Who this course is for:
  • Guides new to rescue
  • Recreational boaters and kayakers
  • Riverboarders
  • River SUP paddlers
  • Packrafters

*RRC meets all requirements for ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue Certification

If you are a guide or Kayaker who has already had the RRC you can upgrade to River Rescue for the Professional.

This course is designed to keep you moving and learning throughout the entire time we have to work with you. We look forward to meeting you and guarantee you will have a blast!


What to expect in the course:

• Introductions and paperwork
• Shallow Water Crossings
• Entrapment Rescues: Wading, Swimming, Throw bag techniques, Foot and Body
Entrapment, Kayak Entrapment
• Swimming: defensive, aggressive, barrel rolls, accessing eddies
• Throw bags: when, where, coils, belay, back-up, vector pull
• Contact rescues: defensive, counter panic passengers
• Live-Bait jackets; use, release, self-rescue techniques
• Knots, Hitches, Anchors
• Homework: Group tabletop scenarios
• Mechanical Advantage
• Wrapped boats: rafts and kayaks: The real scoop on freeing them.
• Mechanical Advantage
• Zip Lines
• Flip drills in the current or in a rapid; boat and passenger recovery drills
• Scenarios
• Debrief written homework, test, paperwork completion
• Fill in the gaps

Plan on very full days and homework at night. We want you to gain as much knowledge as possible in the time you have. The outline will evolve based on the focus of the participants. Our goal is to give you as much as you can handle in a couple days and still keep it fun and supportive. We will integrate many scenarios based on the swiftwater situations you may face as rafters, kayakers and river users.


Dutch John