River Rescue Certification


River Rescue Certification


River Rescue Certification 

Presented By: Bhupendra Singh Rana (Bhupi) of Sierra Rescue International

Location - Housatonic River, CT (Bulls bridge section)

Dates: November 11th-12th 2018

Meeting place - Takeout at the Power House, Bulls bridge section at 8:00am on November 11th, 2018


Welcome to the River Rescue Certification (RRC) Course. This dynamic curriculum is specifically designed for river guides, private boaters and kayakers, whitewater rafters, river boarders and river enthusiasts!


Please plan on very active days and homework at night. We integrate the classroom materials throughout the course and you will be in the water a lot during the class. We will make the course as much scenario and case study based as possible. We will emphasize self rescue, throw bag rescue, entrapments, thinking through a rescue, simple rope tricks and rescue techniques that have been tested and proven successful in real rescues. Please feel free to let us know what is most important to you as we go through the training and we will make it as relevant as possible to your whitewater interest.


  • Introductions and paperwork

  • Shallow Water Crossings

  • Entrapment Rescues: Wading, Swimming, Throw bag techniques, Foot and Body Entrapment, Kayak Entrapment

  • Swimming: defensive, aggressive, barrel rolls, accessing eddies

  • Throw bags: when, where, coils, belay, back-up, vector pull

  • Contact rescues: defensive, counter panic passengers

  • Live-Bait jackets; use, release, self-rescue techniques

  • Knots, Hitches, Anchors

  • Heads Up DVD: Prevention, Equipment, Organization, Orientation to Swiftwater Rescue

  • Homework: Group tabletop scenarios

  • Wrapped boats: rafts and kayaks: The real scoop on freeing them.

  • Mechanical Advantage

  • Zip Lines

  • Flip drills in the current or in a rapid; boat and passenger recovery drills

  • Scenarios

  • Debrief written homework, test, paperwork completion

  • Fill in the gaps

The outline will evolve based on the focus of the participants. Our goal is to give you as much as you can handle in a couple days and still keep it fun and supportive. We will integrate many scenarios based on the swiftwater situations you may face as rafters, kayakers or river boarders.


For the water:

1. Drysuit/Full Wetsuit

2. PFD: Type 3 or Type 5 with whistle and knife (knife optional)

3. Helmet: Lightweight swiftwater or climbing helmet.

4. Footwear: Hard soled wetsuit booties or good shoes for walking in the river and on the banks with wool socks and/or wetsuit socks

5. Wetsuit gloves (optional)

6. Food and water: Lunch, snacks and water for each day!

7. Extra warm clothes

8. Any personal rescue gear that you currently have: Throw Bag, etc.

This is for you to have an opportunity to practice with your own gear.