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Old 11-11-2010   #1
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 144
Swiftwater rescue???

Does anyone offer a swiftwater rescue class for the recreational boater? A class session that goes over the "basics" in one weekend or two? Like to get/spread the knowledge...

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Old 11-12-2010   #2
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Don't rec boaters paddle flat water?

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Old 11-12-2010   #3
wasatchbill's Avatar
Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
here's a couple coming up in Chile and Cali, if you want to travel. Theres one this weekend in Cali actually.
Swiftwater Rescue Technician Unit 1 (SRT1)

Next spring (I'm sure theres others, just googling):
Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center: American Canoe Association (ACA) river rescue, swift water rescue courses on Colorado's Arkansas River
Swiftwater Rescue Training | Whitewater Rescue Training | River Rafting Rescue Training
Swift Water Rescue Course - Certification Provided by Rescue3

Its a cold, low flow time of year around here; but you could still find first aid and CPR classes, and take a climbing class in a rock gym, which is great crossover skills training (and great crossover upper body training). Learn how to body belay; that is very helpful for using a throw rope effectively.

Heres another thread on Swiftwater rescue:
SRT vs WRT vs ACA Swiftwater Rescue Courses
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Old 11-12-2010   #4
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Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 770
Check out the company downstream edge. I took my class there, good stuff and reasonable prices.
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Old 11-12-2010   #5
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 88
Swiftwater Rescue Courses

Sawatch Rescue will be hosting a series of ACA, Rescue 3, private boater and river guide specific Swiftwater Rescue courses in 2011 throughout Colorado and the Mountain West.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information. We are in the process of setting up our 2011 schedule and I would be happy to work with you on dates and locations.

For more information you can email me at or call at 719-221-6716

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Old 11-15-2010   #6
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 168
Southwest Rescue in Durango offers one that I took at the end of May. It was very well done and well worth the money. I am a recreational boater and fairly new to rafting.

I did the Whitewater Rescue Technician version which was the same class but cost $50 less and had a slightly different written test. The class is a Rescue 3 certified course.

The students in my class included a bunch of guides, folks who work in adaptive rec programs and some Durango Fire Rescue personnel. I was the only truly recreational only boater, but everyone was cool and my out of shape 40 something self made it through without any trauma.

My one recommendation is to definitely buy or borrow a drysuit for whatever class you take. I would have been very uncomfortable if I had only brought my wetsuit.

Aaron from Southwest Resue has developed a very cool relationship with some folks who own property along the Pine River below Vallecito Lake so our class took place there. No crowds, no other boaters to worry about, no distractions, and a beautiful location. But it is just a mile or 2 downstream of the dam on Vallecito so the water was very cold (hence the drysuit recommendation).

Southwest Rescue offers courses in Wilderness Medicine, Swiftwater Rescue, and Avalanche Education in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico

PM me if you want to know more about the experience I had.

George Marsden
Los Alamos, NM
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Old 11-15-2010   #7
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 47
Rapid Action Rescue offers the most progressive river rescue curriculum designed strictly for boaters. Unlike other rescue organizations, where courses tend to be one size fits all, Rapid Action Rescue offers river rescue instruction for all types of boaters. Rapid Action Rescue offers scheduled courses near our headquarters in Telluride, Colorado, or we can also accommodate your organization/group and travel to your location. Weather you are a veteran class V kayaker or a parent who wants to introduce your children to river safety, Rapid Action Rescue has a course that will suit your objectives and goals.
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Old 04-24-2011   #8
Buena Vista/Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 67
There are some spaces left in the class this weekend in Golden, and later in May in Buena Vista. These are 2 day swiftwater rescue, ACA endorsed classes designed largely for recreational boaters, and for professional raft guides as well. Elias Leadership and Education
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Old 04-24-2011   #9
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 88
Swiftwater Rescue

We still have a few spaces left for the following May and early June courses:

May 23-25 Whitewater Rescue Technician / SRT-1, hosted by Clear Creek Rafting, Idaho Springs

May 28-31 Whitewater Rescue Technician / SRT-1, hosted by Kodi Rafting, Buena Vista

June 3-5 Whitewater Rescue Technician / SRT-1, hosted by Colorado State University, Pueblo

June 10-12 Whitewater Rescue Technician / SRT-1, Idaho Springs, Colorado

Sawatch Rescue are agents for the global leaders in swiftwater rescue, technical rescue and wilderness medicine. Our river rescue courses are developed and certified by Rescue 3 International. Rescue 3ís curriculum has been tested and refined by a global network of instructors who have taught more than 150,000 students in 35 countries. We also offer ACA certification by request.

You can contact us at or phone at 719-221-6716.
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Old 04-25-2011   #10
N. Wigston's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
Check out Downstream Edge. We have great classes geared to recreational kayakers and/or rafters. The scheduled classes are all full, but we can do custom classes for a group of boaters. So if you have some friends who want to do a course, we can set one up for you on dates that work. We'll also be scheduling another class for July, so keep your eye on the website.

Nick Wigston
Downstream Edge

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