Introduction To White Water Safety

The Introduction to White Water Safety course is designed to support paddlers to become effective group members on grade 2 water. This one day course is suitable for anyone starting out on their white water paddling journey, wanting to explore the role of an effective group member and learn simple strategies and safe skills that can provide the tools to solve common paddling issues. Topics covered include Clothing and equipment, the White Water environment, preparing for the river trip, Swimming techniques and many more. Paddlers will rescue from their preferred craft, which can include kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards.

The Program

The Introduction to White Water Safety is a 6-hour programme that consists of 9 modules. This can be delivered in a day or as a series of modules and is available to all ages.

Motivations and decisions:

    • Ours and others’ motivations
    • Collaborative support
    • Selection of river to match motivations

Clothing and equipment:

    • Craft overview, safety considerations, and features
    • Clothing and equipment worn
    • Additional safety equipment

The White Water environment:

    • Understanding water features
    • Recognising water features
    • Hazards on the river

Preparing for the river trip:

    • Appropriate clothing and craft for the river trip
    • Safety protocols
    • River brief

Swimming techniques:

    • Defensive swimming
    • Aggressive swimming
    • Changing direction

Choosing how to help a swimmer:

    • Supporting the swimmer
    • Wading
    • Reaching
    • Receiving a throwline

What to do when we swim:

    • Stay safe
    • Roll up, push/move away
    • Nudge
    • Attaching a line

Kit retrieval:

    • Paddle retrieval
    • Assisting others

Reflections and Skills Checklist:

    • Reflections from the course
    • Reflections on own learning and areas for development
    • Skills checklist

Prerequisites

Participants need to either hold the relevant British Canoeing Awarding Body Personal Performance Award or equivalent ability in/on their preferred craft due to the paddling environment and the boat/board control required to complete the course.

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment, if you do not have specific equipment please do not go out and buy, this course is a great chance to learn about equipment and try it out before purchasing your own:

  • Mobile phone in a waterproof case (fully charged)
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Saw for canoeists
  • Sling or tape, with or without a karabiner
  • Small first aid kit
  • Group shelter
  • Spare clothing
  • Food and drink


Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

When on the water accidents can happen and it’s best to be prepared and have the skills to help if required. The FSRT is designed for all paddlers, coaches and volunteers working around the water. It can be completed as a bank-based or boat-based course.

This course will teach simple and safe skills as a foundation to further safety training in British Canoeing.

On completion of this course you will have skills to ensure your safety and the safety of others, as well as rescue skills to help yourself, or others in difficulty.

To participate on this course you must:

  • Be able to swim in normal paddling clothes
  • Hold the 2 star award or have equivalent ability, except for bank-based participants
  • There is no longer an age restriction on this course
  • As an AALA licensed provider we can deliver this course to under 18’s

Prerequisites

  • 2 Star (if a boat-based participant)
  • Be able to swim in normal paddling clothes

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment:

  • Towline OR tow system
  • Throwline
  • Webbing (sewn or unsewn sling) and large karabiner
  • Whistle
  • Knife



Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue

The Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training course is specifically designed around the needs of white water paddlers.

It develops on the principles and techniques taught in the White Water Safety and Rescue training course, and considers their application in the advanced environment.

Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training courses are typically delivered over two days and involve a minimum of 10 hours teaching time.

The majority of the content is delivered as part of a journey on grade 3-4 white water, using only the equipment typically available on such a journey.

Prerequisites

Due to the paddling environment and the boat control required the candidate should:

  • Be confident in their ability to kayak on grade 3-4 white water
  • Be confident swimmers in normal canoe clothing suitable for a moving water environment
  • Have attended a British Canoeing White Water Safety and Rescue Training course (ideally in the previous three years)
  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age

A first aid certificate is not a prerequisite. However holding a first aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers.

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment:

  • Towline OR tow system
  • Throwline
  • Webbing (sewn or un-sewn sling) and large carabiner
  • Whistle
  • Knife

Book your course here



White Water Safety

This 2-day course is aimed at those paddling as peers and covers a range of topics that include emergency planning & procedures, chase boating, equipment rescues and scenarios and much more. This course is designed to support paddlers to be independent participants on grade 2(3) white water rivers. Paddlers can access the course with their preferred craft which can include kayaks, rafts, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

Please note, this course replaced the White Water Safety and Rescue course (WWSR) on the 1st November 2023, however both the WWS and WWSR are recognised as pre requisites for the relevant qualifications e.g White Water Leader, Raft Guide Grade 2 etc

The White-Water Safety course is a 2-day programme that consists of 9 modules:

MODULE 1 – MOTIVATIONS AND DECISIONS
  • Understanding motivations to participate
  • Selection of river to match motivations
  •  Practical matters
MODULE 2 – RIVER TRIP
  •  Pre checks
  •  Collaborative support and vision
  •  Settling in
  • River running strategies
  •  Equipment considerations
MODULE 3 – EMERGENCY PLANNING & PROCEDURES
  • What additional equipment do we take
  •  Locating your position
  • Calling for assistance
  •  Walking out
MODULE 4 – REVIEW AND REFLECTIONS
  •  Reflections on your own learning and areas for development
MODULE 5 – CHASE BOATING AND EQUIPMENT RESCUES
  • Chase Boating
  • Paddle Rescues
  • Boat Rescues
  • Reuniting
MODULE 6 – SWIMMING AND RESCUES
  •  Swimming
  •  Rescue a swimmer from a craft
  •  Rescue a swimmer using a throwline
  •  Rescue a swimmer from a stopper
MODULE 7 – RETRIEVING PEOPLE AND EQUIPMENT
  • Wading
  •  Swimming
  •  Quick release buoyancy harness
  •  Support from the bank
  • Extracting methods
MODULE 8 – SCENARIOS
  •  Setting the scene
  • Scenarios
MODULE 9 – REVIEW AND REFLECTIONS
  •  Reflections on own learning and areas for development

It aims to teach simple and practical safety skills that can be applied appropriately to a moderate whitewater environment. Using a range of simulated scenarios this training course teaches safe paddling strategies and a variety of different rescue skills

Prerequisites

Due to the paddling environment and the boat control required to participate in this training course, candidates should be:

  • Confident in their ability to paddle on grade 2 water
  • Confident swimming in normal paddling clothing suitable for a moving water environment
  • There is no age restriction to the WWS course. Where providers choose to allow participants under the age of 18 to attend the course, appropriate safeguarding measures must be implemented and due attention paid to the enhanced legal responsibilities and potential risks. The safety and welfare of those under the age of 18 is paramount.

A First Aid certificate is not a prerequisite. However, holding a First Aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers.

Recommended Equipment to bring

The following is a list of recommended equipment:

  • Towline OR tow system
  • Throwline
  • Webbing Sling
  • large carabiner x3
  • Whistle
  • Knife