Level 3

pinned kayak rescue

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This is the most physically and mentally challenging river rescue class you will ever take, and it’s designed specifically for expert kayakers who regularly paddle class IV rivers or above and are aspiring Class V boaters. This class builds on the skills learned in the Advanced SWR class and takes them to the next level. We focus on mastering expert river running techniques and teach your group how to run rivers like a crew of seasoned expedition paddlers. We spend at least 95% of the class in the river encountering realistic rescues in challenging sections of whitewater. At this point in your kayaking career you should be competent at rescuing pinned boats and gear. In this class we will spend most of the time rescuing swimmers who are in dangerous situations where time is of the essence. Scenarios may include foot entrapments, pinned kayakers, unconscious swimmers, stranded paddlers, and other intense situations that will hone your skills to the level of a class V boater. This class is a must for all Class V kayakers and those who aspire to run class V. We will teach you the technical and leadership skills you need to save lives on the river. Period.

What to expect

This is a 2-day course, and expect two long wet days. We normally start each day around 9am and finish around 5pm. Your class may have up to an hour of dryland instruction before we get dressed and onto the river. DSE classes are very hands on, with almost no dryland instruction. We feel that you will learn better by actually practicing the skills and learning them in a realistic environment. The level 3 class will learn the following: Advanced Rescue swimming, Advanced tethered swimming, advanced river running strategy, communication, leadership, pinned boat rescue, and pinned/stranded swimmer rescues in difficult river environments. The first day will consist mostly of learning skills and practicing rescues while the second day will consist of mostly realistic scenarios setup by your instructor. The level 3 class will focus on scenarios where time is of the essence. We will do very little gear rescue in this class. You will mostly be rescuing swimmers who are in danger, pinned, stranded, foot entrapped, etc.

What to bring

Kayaking Gear
Warm layers (Drytop and pants, drysuit, or wetsuit recommended)
Good river shoes
Throw Rope
Rescue PFD w/tether – recommended but not required
River Knife (I recommend a folding one in the pocket. for mountable knives, use the Bear Claw)
Karabiners (one locking and a few non-locking) – not everyone needs locking biners for the class
Prussik Loops (5mm cased nylon line tied in loops with double fisherman’s knot. Have several different size loops. bigger loops are more useful)
Webbing (1″ tubular webbing in a length that is double your height)
Pulley (one is sufficient and not everyone needs pullies)
First Aid kit
Breakdown Paddle (not everyone needs a spare paddle)
Lunch and snacks – on the go

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