Students learn about how to read whitewater on an intermediate moving water course with Priscilla Haskin on the Red Deer River, AB.
Location: Red Deer River, Alberta. Photo credit: Priscilla Haskin

Moving Water Canoe Safety and Rescue Clinic

Discipline: Canoeing Program: Moving Water Stream: Skills Development

This Moving Water Canoe Safety and Rescue Clinic provides the opportunity to practice commonly used moving water river rescue skills. Unlike moving water skill courses that emphasize paddling skills, this clinic emphasizes moving water safety and rescue skills.


This course focuses on the fundamental skills, knowledge, and manoeuvres of rescuing paddlers and equipment in moving water situations from a paddler’s respective.

The material practiced in this clinic comes from the Paddle Canada Moving Water Canoe Program. This clinic is to provide an opportunity for paddlers to have more practice in rescues. It does not seek to replace the need for swiftwater rescue training or other similar training.

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Course Overview

Typical Course Length

5 hours of instruction.

Course Topics

Safety and Rescue
  • International river classification
  • Anatomy of a rescue
  • Rescue priorities
  • Rescue procedures
  • Environment
  • Proper clothing
  • River signals
  • Rescue positioning
  • Self-rescue
  • Shore rescue
  • Canoe and participant rescues
  • Simple rescue systems
  • Advanced rescue courses
Manoeuvres
  • Positioning of safety boat
  • Capsizing
  • Canoe and equipment recovery
  • Emptying a canoe
  • Swimmer recovery
Knowledge
  • River safety and basic rescue equipment
  • River trip planning for safety and rescue
  • Understanding limitations
  • Rescue resources
Course Prerequisites
  • Introduction to Tandem Moving Water Canoeing or prior experience with permission of the clinic instructor.
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