Rescue for river runners advanced


Advanced swiftwater for paddlers and guides. 

The focus of this 3 day course is on the necessary knowledge and skills for river guides and kayakers that spend a good portion of their lives on the river in a professional capacity to choose good actions when a river rescue is necessary while on technical rivers (class III and higher). R3-Pro is tailored to the specific needs of paddlers, their equipment, and the environment they are in. The energetic and physical curriculum wil lbe challenging and focused on quick reaction time with a thorough understanding of options and resources.  There is no classroom session as this course assumes prior river knowledge from all participants. This course is not NFPA compliant nor will it meet the needs of professional groups such as fire or field services.



3 daysFormat

River basedParticipants

Minimum 10. Maximum 12.Prerequisites

  • 18+ years of age (16-17 with parental permission)
  • Strong swimming ability
  • Rescue for River Runners or proof of prior similar experience or training
  • Ability to paddle or raft class 3 water
  • Be actively involved in kayaking, rafting, river boarding or canoeing
  • In good physical condition



Repeat the entire course at a 15% discount every three yearsAnnual Training Maintenance

Click here to read about the options available for annual guided practice.Required Equipment

  • Drysuit or wetsuit*
  • Personal flotation device (Type III or V)*
  • Water-sports helmet*
  • Neoprene gloves (optional)
  • Neoprene footwear with a good walking sole, wading boots, or running shoes
  • Layers of wool or fleece clothing for under the drysuit/wetsuit including sweater, pants, gloves, socks
  • The boat you regularly paddle in

* Rental equipment available. Click here for a price list.Takeaways & Documentation

  • Rescue 3’s River Rescue manual, including a guiding skills checklist and guiding log
  • Personalized skill sheet (training record) signed by the instructor (valuable document for risk management)
  • Registration of training record in Rescue 3’s international database
  • Wallet card with personal Rescue 3 registration number and date of certification
  • Certificate of Completion


More details about swiftwater courses including what to expect and how to prepare. Click here for our Swiftwater FAQ.

R3-Pro Course Outline

Day 1: River Session

  • A review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Advanced river signals and communication
  • Advanced live bait rescue applications
  • Tension diagonal
  • Whitewater swimming skills
  • Advanced river hydrology and hazards
  • Complex foot and body entrapment
  • Combat and rescue swimming
  • Advanced rope work including descending and raising skills

Day 2: River Session

  • Review of key concepts
  • Site safety assessment
  • Recovery of drifting/personless boat into shore or safe eddy
  • Self-rescue techniques including swimming a boat to shore
  • Rescue of a distressed swimmer
  • Rope work for complex wraps, pins, and flips
  • Compound and complex mechanical advantage
  • Technical problem (swiftwater rescue scenario)
  • Night operation

Day 3: River Session

  • Review of key concepts
  • Debrief of night operation
  • Site safety assessment
  • Spine friendly play boat extrication techniques
  • Rescue from a pinned boat
  • Recovery of a boat from a re-circulating feature
  • Multiple technical problems (swiftwater rescue scenarios)
  • Debrief