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Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training



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British Canoeing Awarding Body

Advanced White Water Safety (Canoe, Kayak or SUP)

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Please note that the Advanced White Water Safety course replaces Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training (WWSR) on 2nd January 2024. Both are recognised as pre-requisites for the relevant qualifications e.g Advanced White Water Leader.


When operating in advanced white water conditions we may need to have some advanced rescue tools.

On this course we take the ideas from the White Water Safety course (previously White Water Safety and Rescue Training) and extend them to make them applicable to advanced white water. The course is open to canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboarders. However the course works best when we are all operating in the same craft. Therefore we have dates for white water kayak courses and advanced white water canoe courses.

Both courses will run in grade 3(4) white water. You will get most from the course if you are fairly comfortable paddling in this environment.

We can run a white water sup course for a group if required.

Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training

We deliver the Paddle UK Advanced White Water Safety course syllabus based on years of experience of advanced boating. We believe the best solution is usually the simple one and will help you to develop a thorough understanding of these.

Supported by a strong emphasis on prevention rather than cure we will help you become a safer paddler with a better range of tools to deal with the problems that are likely to occur.

Although this advanced white water safety course is the pre-requisite for the Advanced White Water Canoe or Kayak Leader Awards, we suggest that anyone operating in advanced white water should use it as a refresher. Our coaches will give you the most up to date techniques and allow you to practice rescues in a safe environment.

Wild River is very happy to offer bespoke rescue training to any individuals or groups without the limitations of a set syllabus. Please contact us to discuss this.

Advanced Canoe Rescues

During the course we will cover:

  • Self rescue in advanced conditions.
  • Boat and bank based swimmer rescues.
  • Advanced rope work including mechanical advantage.
  • Leadership and group strategies specific to advanced white water, including group management of bank support on advanced rapids.
  • Boat chasing in advanced water.
  • Moving paddling equipment or people on steep terrain.
  • Assisting stuck paddlers.
  • Incident management and casualty treatment and care.


Candidates should dress appropriately for spending a significant amount of time swimming in the advanced white water environment. Additional clothing may be useful. We strongly recommend wearing a drysuit for this course. (Drysuit Hire)
Sturdy footwear and an effective white water helmet are essential.

 If possible bring your own equipment including:

  • Throwline length 15 to 25m, minimum diameter 8 mm.
  • 3-5m length of un-knotted climbers tape. Two HMS locking karabiners.
  • Whistle, river knife safely stowed but easily accessible with one hand.
  • 0ne pulley and one prussic.
  • Buoyancy aid with a quick release chest harness.
  • Your normal white water craft with appropriate outfitting and paddle.
  • Lunch

There will be a range of equipment to try on the course but if you wish to borrow anything please let us know in advance.

During the course we will use a range of knots. It would be really useful if you could practice tying these prior to the course.

They are:

  • Prussic (3 wraps and Klemheist).
  • Overhand and Tape/water knots.
  • Figure of 8, re threaded and on the bight.
  • No knot.
  • Italian hitch/ Munter hitch.
  • Double fisherman's.

Diagrams and videos of most of the knots above can be seen using this link.

Advanced white water safety training


This course is designed for paddlers in grade 3 and 4 water. There are lots of options in and around Cumbria that are appropriate for this course. We will pick the best options in the days prior to the course and confirm then. However all venues are within one hour of Penrith. They include:

  • Both sections of the river Leven.
  • Lower Kent.
  • Low Force section of the Tees.
  • The gorge section of the River Nith. If we use this we can offer transport from North Lakes.

Course Dates

21,22 October 2024 (Canoe)*
28,29 November 2024 (Kayak)
5,6 December 2024 (Canoe)

Course fee: £250

*This course can be combined with Advanced Canoe White Water Leader Training on 23-25 October 2024 for £500 (5 days)


Candidates should be:

Confident in their ability to paddle on grade 3 and 4 water

Be confident swimming in normal canoe clothing suitable for a moving water environment.

Minimum of 16 years of age

Have attended a Paddle UKWWSC course, ideally, in the last three years


British Canoeing Advanced White Water Safety InformationAdvanced White Water Safety Course Documents

British Canoeing Advanced White Water Safety Course GuideCourse Guide

British Canoeing Advanced White Water Safety SkillsSkills Checklist

Safety Resources

This course is a training course so it has no assessment. However if you are working towards a leadership or coaching qualification your trainer will provide you with more detailed feedback and support you to decide what further development you need for those assessments.

Advanced White Water Safety & Rescue

canoe rescue training

Advanced White Water Safety & Rescue Training

Advanced Canoe Rescues
Advanced Safety & Rescue
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