Iowa DNR Swift Water Rescue Clinic

Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, 2018

Short description: This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to perform swift water rescues. The course will focus on using rescue equipment such as throw ropes and the rescue pfd. There will be an emphasis on swimming in current, tethered rope rescues, rescue wading and boat rescues.

Main emphasis: Is to provide knowledge to perform swift water rescues as well as decision making skills during a swift water rescue. The course will introduce new techniques for those unfamiliar with swift water rescue and provide a re-fresher for participants with previous training. Rescue swimming and rope management are integral to this course. Additional emphasis focuses on managing the rescue to avoid having other participants from becoming additional victims during the rescue event.

Target audience: kayak or canoe paddlers who paddle on Class 2 and above water.

Class size: limited to 10 students

Date offered: Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, 2018

Location: dependent on water levels and resulting eddy lines and waves.

Start time: 9:00 am each day

Finish time: by 5:00 pm each day

Costs: The cost for the course is $25.00 and is sponsored by the Iowa DNR. Full refunds if class is cancelled due to weather or water levels.

More clinic information and registration, please click here for more information and regration for the DNR's 2-Day Swift Water Rescue clinic.

For additional questions, please contact Glenn Harman, lead instructor, by sending email to

Equipment needed: your own food (snacks, lunch, liquids), suitable paddling gear for air and water temperatures (dress for getting wet, have towels and dry clothes for after), helmet, rescue pfd, throw rope, kayak or canoe paddle suitable for moving water use (possible rocks), whitewater kayak or whitewater useable canoe, air bags/flotation in kayak or canoe, spray skirt for whitewater kayak unless a sit-on-top whitewater kayak. Any other rescue equipment that you might use such as carabiners and pulleys.

Skills needed to take the class: This is not a whitewater kayak or canoe skills course, so individuals should have the ability to kayak or canoe independent of the class with the ability to self-rescue. Boating skills that are highly desirable include the ability to ferry in current and perform eddy turns and peel outs. If using a kayak with a spray skirt a kayak role is highly desirable; ability to wet exit is required. The ability to swim is also required.