Level 5: Advanced Swiftwater Rescue

The Advanced Swiftwater Rescue workshop is aimed at trip leaders, boaters paddling on more challenging whitewater, and anyone desiring opportunities to develop their rescue skills. Critical judgment and rescue awareness, impacting both personal and group safety, are emphasized throughout the course. Although new skills may be taught, this class focuses on developing judgment and applying skills in rescue scenarios. Scope and content of the course will vary, based upon participant needs, interests and experience.

This advanced course consists of 1-2 more days of additional training in technical rescue and multiple scenarios. It is designed for individuals who have completed a Level 4: Swiftwater Rescue course within the last three years. Course objectives include:

  • Reinforce basic rescue skills, including swimming/self rescue, throw ropes, and boat based rescue
  • Practice skills during multiple scenarios
  • Refine and extend critical judgment through multiple scenarios
  • Develop and practice more advanced rope-based and in-water skills
Course Length: 
8+ Hours (1+ Days)
Prerequisites: 
  • 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; be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion
  • Completion of Level 4: Swiftwater Rescue course within last 3 years
Primary Classification: 
Certifications Received: 

None

Personal Gear: You must provide these items!

  • Personal Flotation Device
  • Type III or V, should allow freedom of movement
  • Head Protection
  • Should provide adequate protection for the forehead, temples, ears, and the back of the head
  • Cold Protection
  • Wetsuit or Drysuit, Polypro, Splash gear
  • Foot protection
  • Sturdy footwear providing protection from sharp rocks and other debris while providing some thermal protection. NO Sandals – use an old pair of sneakers

While not required, it is suggested that all ACA members acquire the rest of this basic equipment over time:

Basic Rescue Gear:

  • Rope
  • Throw bag containing 70' of 3/8" or larger floating line. Needs to be constructed as a kernmantle braid, A Spectra core has considerable strength advantage
  • Knife. Easily accessible knife which can be opened/prepared with one hand, stainless steel blade, and rubberized hand grip
  • Whistle. A loud plastic whistle which can be heard at long distances over noise of rapids
  • First Aid Kit. A well stocked kit should include at least bandaging and splinting supplies, cold packs, latex gloves, CPR microshield, emergency food (sugar/candy). Should be stored in a water-tight bag

Technical Rescue Gear:

  • Webbing. A 10-15' length of 1"/4,000 lb. test, tubular nylon webbing tied in a loop
  • Carabiners. Two locking AD aluminum carabiners rated in excess of 5,000 lb. tensile strength
  • Prussik Loops
  • Two prussik loops large enough to tie a triple wrapped prussik knot on a 1/2" rope. Prussiks should have a tensile strength of at least 4,000 lb., yet their diameter should be between 5.5 and 7 mm

For the ACA’s specific eligibility requirements, go to: http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=EEC

Course Objectives:

  • Reinforce basic rescue skills, including swimming/self rescue, throw ropes, and boat-based rescue
  • Practice skills during multiple scenarios
  • Refine and extend critical judgment through multiple scenarios
  • Develop and practice more advanced rope-based and in-water skills

Students who are active ACA members at the time of their course can request a Skills Assessment from their instructor.

Because of commuting time to and from river sites, participants should plan to pack their lunches each day, to maximize time in class. Bringing plenty of snacks and water, layers and dry clothes is important, as folks get cold
each afternoon with the amount of time in the water practicing skills. Please review the ACA Gear List to best prepare for a comfortable experience.

There are no examination requirements at the close of this course, however attendance, participation, acquisition of skills, and ability to work in a group will be monitored throughout the course.

Class will end between 5PM and 6PM on the last day of the course. Please do not plan to leave before then, or make travel plans requiring an earlier departure or you will risk certi!cation.

Sorry, No Course Dates Currently Scheduled.