Swiftwater rescue

If you frequently practice activities in rapids such as going on rafting, kayak or canoe excursions, knowing how to intervene in an emergency situation can become vital. The Swiftwater Rescue course is divided into three levels that meet each and everyone’s needs, depending on how experienced they are.

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Level 1

This course in an introduction to swift water rescue; you will learn prevention, self-rescue and intervention techniques. This one-day training will get you acquainted with this type of environment by teaching you, amongst other things, how to swim in rapids and use the necessary material.

Level 2

This three-day training is intended for people who wish to practice or already practice activities in a swift water environment. It includes the course’s level 1 content, and teaches you to rescue someone, to retrieve a boat, to demonstrate a leadership role in an emergency situation, to use ropes in a more advanced way and to apply intervention techniques.

Level 3

The Swiftwater Rescue – Level 3 course is a practical evaluation intended for guides and instructors, and carried out in a river. Completing this course allows you to ensure you have the required skills and dexterity to perform a quick and efficient rescue, and that you know how to assess various emergency situations and intervene as your workplace’s designated intervener.

Minimum time required

  • Level 1: 8 hours
  • Level 2: 24 hours
  • Level 3: 8 hours


  • To be at least 16 years old (level 2)
  • To hold a current Standard First Aid/AID award (recommended)
  • Level 3: to hold a Swiftwater Rescue – Level 2 award

Award validity

  • Level 1: no expiration date (it is recommended to recertify the award every 3 years)
  • Level 2: 3 years
  • Level 3: 3 years