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Sat, Jun 24


Almeda Campground

Northwest Rafters Association Swiftwater Rescue (private)

16 hours of instruction and practice on rescue and self rescue in a boat based dynamic river environment.

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Northwest Rafters Association Swiftwater Rescue (private)
Northwest Rafters Association Swiftwater Rescue (private)

Time & Location

Jun 24, 9:00 AM – Jun 25, 5:00 AM

Almeda Campground, Galice, OR 97532, USA


About the event

A private course for the Northwest Rafter's Association. Swiftwater Rescue teaches recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and simple rescues of paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly used skills. Fundamental techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as entrapments, and pins, also are taught. This course is aimed at whitewater private boaters interested in learning fundamental river rescue skills based out of a raft or cat raft. 

The course takes place on sections of water with up to class II+ rapids on the Rogue River Rec Section near Galice, Oregon. There are great camping accomodations near the venue, which is otherwise quite remote. Participants are encouraged to bring all their own PPE, watercraft of your choice, and any rescue equipment that you carry regularly. Please also plan to be outside cell service and away from services like gas stations, hotels or restaurants. Please arrive with everything you will need for a weekend of camping and boating. Age restrictions apply, particiants must be 13 or older and minors are required to be accompanied by a legal guardian.

This course includes the use of a NNWW paddleboat if needed, all neccessary practice rescue equipment, and instruction. This course does not include outfitting, transportation, food, or lodging. 

ACA Curriculum "Level 4: Swiftwater Rescue" Skills Course

Introduction, Expectations, & Logistics:

- Welcome, introductions, paperwork, payment

- Student & instructor course goals, expectations, limitations

- Course itinerary & site logistics

- Review waiver/ assumption of risk, challenge by choice, health & wellness form

The Paddling Environment

- Shore based scouting WORMS

- Hydrology, river features & paddling routes

- Flows, forecasts, access, evacuation points

- Safety talk points

Personal Protective Equipment

- Minimize risk of personal injury by wearing properly fitted PPE

- Avoid cold water shock & hypothermia by choosing proper clothing

- Minimize hazards associated with wear and use of a Type V PFD with QRHS

- Properly thread tri-glide buckle on QRHS

- Buddy Check

- River knives, flip lines

Rescue Strategy

- LAST (Locate, Access, Stabilize, Transport)

- Minimize potential hazards and risks through proper trip planning.

- Use effective communication techniques including hand, paddle, and whistle signals

- Characteristics of stable and unstable subjects/ impact on rescue strategies

- Rescue theory: Me, Team, Bystanders, Victim, Gear

- ReThRoG: Reach (from shore), Throw (rope), Row (boat based ), Go (wade, swim)

- Search skills

Wading Skills Minimize risk of foot entrapment while wading! Feet upstream

- Four Point Crawl

- Single Person Assisted Wade

- Two-Person Wade

- Line Astern

- Wedge Wade

- Line Abreast Wade

- Fence Wade

- Tethered Wading Techniques

Throw Rope Skills, 30 ft

- Underhand, overhand, side arm

- appropriate throwing locations

- proper rope receiving techniques

- Two-person throw bag technique

- Hip belay and back-up belay

- Coil toss

- Vector

- Pendulum


- Swiftwater entry

- defensive swimming techniques

- aggressive swimming techniques

- multiple ferries

- eddy moves

- techniques to minimize foot entrapments

- Self-Rescue: swimming with equipment

- Aggressive swim into and over simulated strainer

- Non-tethered Rescue Swimming

Tethered Rescue Swimming

- Direct Line Lower of Rescuer using QRHS

- effective communication with belayers

- appropriate body positioning

- ability to stay calm and in control

- effective release

Rigging Skills

- Figure 8 (Standard, on bight, follow-through, Flemish bend)

- Water knot

- Prusik Hitch

- Munter Hitch

- Clove Hitch

- Butterfly Knot


- ERNEST Equalized, Redundant, No extension, Strong, Timely

- Hitches

- Friction Wrap “no knot”

- Wrap 3 – Pull 2

- Two-point shore anchors

- Multi-point self equalizing boatmans’ anchor

- Simple Systems: 3:1


- Spin, move weight, release air, rocking, pushing, boat bump, boyscout pull

- Vector Pull

- Transport hitch

- 1:1 with Change of Direction

Craft-based Rescues

- Swimmer re-entry/re-mount techniques

- Unresponsive Paddler Rescue

- Swimmer tow

- Craft bumping/bulldozing

- Craft specific rescues

- Tethered Craft Rescue

- Flip drills

Foot Entrapments

- Stabilization Line

- Snag Line

- Kiwi Cinch, U-Cinch, Box Cinch

- Simple Cinch


Conclusion & Wrap-Up:

- Group debrief / Individual feedback

- Importance of additional instruction, practice, experience

- Skills sheet review





  • SWR


    One participant for Northwest Rafters Association SWR


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