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Old 04-08-2004   #11
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 30
Check w/Rescue 3 International

I took a course with Rescue 3 International and I thought it was great. It is a cert. class (You get a certificate at the end of the course saying you completed the course). You recert after 3 years and half the cost (I believe). I have taken a number of search and rescue courses and feel that Rescue 3 does a great job. It is easy to understand and follow and you do a lot of hands on rescue work. If you can get a dry suit-not just a dry top, I suggest it. You spend a LOT of time in the water-2 days. Rescue 3 puts on classes all over the world. Their instructors have taken swiftwater 1 once, and swiftwater 2 twice. In addition to this they are rescue scuba divers. I believe these are just a few of the certs. required by rescue 3. Check them out. You should be able to find their web-site.

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Old 04-08-2004   #12
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 281
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Mike Mather is teaching a beginner course through CMC in Vail...i think there will be 2 courses in June - one the second weekend and another the last weeknd. He may also be doing an advanced level course either through Alpine Kayak (970.949.3350) or thru CMC. The certification ofr this course if through the ACA.

I have assisted him with his courses for the past few years and I have also taken some Rescue 3 courses. Mather's course is the course for you.

Good luck and good thinking.


Alpine Arms
Team Dagger
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Old 04-09-2004   #13
Have paddled a Quest
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 102
Rescue Courses

There are now two primary governing bodies sanctioning whitewater rescue courses: Rescue 3, and the American Canoe Association (ACA).

The Rescue 3 courses are primarily aimed at rescue professionals such as EMT's, fire fighters and raft guides. As such, these courses are more general in nature and have a heavier emphasis on logistics (ie what the chain of command is when various agencies are invoved in a rescue). They are good, intense rescue courses and after passing the course you receive an official ceritfication from Rescue 3 which will impress your friends and neighbors and might actually mean something in the event you have to deal with local authorities during a rescue. Rather than going into detail on the courses, I will suggest that the Whitewater Rescue Technician course (WRT as opposed to SRT- Swiftwater Rescue Techinchian) is the most applicable for recreational boaters. If you need the cert for guiding rafts, then go for SRT.

The ACA courses do not result in a certification which would be recognized by authorities, but they are much more tailored to recreational boaters, and deal with situations which are more realistic for kayakers- like suppose for instance that you don't happen to be carrying 200 feet of static 11mm rope in your kayak! The ACA basic course is one day and is a good intro to rescue, and the advanced course is two days and covers most scenarios that you will encounter as a recreational boater (including various pin situations).

Good summary descriptions of all of the courses that I mentioned can be found at:

If you are interested in taking the ACA rescue courses locally, the Colorado White Water Association offers both beginning and advanced ACA courses to members, and the course fees will go to support river access and conservation in Colorado. Contact Phillip Bowman at (970) 328-2037.

If you are interested in taking Rescue 3 courses, Brandon Holms of Adventure Medicine International is offering several WRT courses in May- his contact info is:

Brandon Holmes

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Old 04-09-2004   #14
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
Marco's description is right on. If you wish to contact me about any of the CWWA class offerings, you can also email me:

safety"at" ("at" to stop those spam-bots)

Please send me an email if you have any questions. We have some classes scheduled for late May and early June for those who might be interested.

Phillip Bowman
CWWA Safety Director
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Old 04-16-2007   #15
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 273
Is there a more basic class for folks not interested in getting their cert and just learning some basic rescue systems??

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