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River Rescue Instructor Certification
Our 37th Year!

Swiftwater River Rescue

ACA Swiftwater River Rescue Instructor Certification

Learn how to teach people how to be safe on the river.

This 5 day lesson is just like our ACA Kayak instructor certification except that we cover Swiftwater Rescue. This class can function as a Instructor Development Workshop, (IDW) or as an Instructor Certification Exam, (ICE). At the end of this course you may be certified as an ACA Swiftwater Instructor. You can view all the ACA information on this class at: ACA Swiftwater Safety and Rescue Course.

Prerequisites: Kayakers, Canoers, Duckiers and Rafters should have 2-3 years of experience and have solid class III to IV boating skills and have attended a Swiftwater Rescue Course. Rafters, please consider bringing a very small raft of inflatable kayak if you can. We teach this class on low volume rivers. If you want the benefit of the ACA certification for this class, you must be a current ACA Member and have paid your SEIC dues, (instructor dues for the Safety Education & Instruction Council) and provide us with your ACA number during the class. You are welcome to take this class without being an ACA member but then you will not be certified through the ACA.
American Canoe Association
You can join the ACA through this link: Join the ACA. Please choose the instructor level of membership on the ACA page.

Please see below for our outline and recommended gear.

ACA Swiftwater River Rescue
Instructor Lesson
Class 3 ability

We no longer offer reservations for this adventure.

Please contact: Renaissance Adventure Guides at 303-988-2943
You can also contact them by email at:

If you have been through this course and just need the ACA Swiftwater Update, please see our ACA Instructor Updater Certification page.

Refund Policy
Cancellations 5 days or more before your class dates are refundable less a 10% reservation fee. You can reschedule your class (subject to availability) without any penalties if you notify Renaissance Adventure Guides 5 days prior to your class date. With-in 5 days of your class date, your funds are committed and are non-refundable.

Rescue Lesson Outline

Suggested River Rescue Gear

Day 1
How to handle a rescue situation
Equipment needed for rescues
Equipment vs life threat
Rescue organization
Throw Bag Rescues
Tow Systems: swimmer/boat/paddle
Walking in Rapids
Unconscious swimmer rescue
River Extrication Backboards
Zip lines
Floating platform rescue
Day 2
Anchors Z drags
Bridge Abutment Rescue gaining access
Unwrapping a kayak/raft
Vertical pins
Ankle entrapment
Run mock rescues
Rescue evaluation
Note: This lesson will be customized based on river features, water levels and students needs and skills.

Class participants should bring as much of this gear as they can
River Rescue book
Canoe and Kayaking (for ACA students)
Knife (one hand accessible)
Carabiners (4 or more)
Prussik Loop (3 or more)
Webbing (about 8')
Drybag to put rescue items in
Lifejacket/PFD with rescue belt
Tow Teather for Lifejackets with rescue belts
Throw Bag
Pulley (at least 2)
Warm clothing
Energy Food
First Aid Kit (contents based on paddlers training and remoteness of trip)
Duct Tape
Waterproof light
Optional Items
Gibbs Ascender (climbing ascender)
Spare Air (compress air in cylinder for trapped boater)
Saw or wood cutting device
Z-Drag Crib card
Cell Phone
Signal mirror
Pocket Knife
Multi-plyer tool
Bee Kit
Static Rope

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