River Safety Training

River Safety Training

Any questions, please send an email to safety(at)oregonwhitewater.org.

River Safety Training Class 2022

Welcome to this year's OWA sponsored River Safety Training. Excited to be practicing skills on the river with you. Class will be taught by Certified instructors led by Sam Drevo of ENRG Kayaking. Unlike years past we will not have access to the community building or camping. Knot tying event on Friday evening, pizza included, will be a chance to get a head start on the basic knots used in the class, led by Bruce Ripley. Location to be announced soon. Feel free to send me an email, safety(at)oregonwhitewater.org, with any questions.


Dates:  April 9 and 10  (Saturday and Sunday), optional knot tying practice with pizza Friday eve.

Hours: Instruction from 7:30-5:00 each day, knot tying event 6-8pm 

Location:  Dodge Park, 11021 SE Lusted Rd, Sandy, OR 97055, Knot tying event TBD

Food:   Coffee, water, drinks, sweet and salty snacks will be provided but you are on your own for lunch.  Please bring lunch with you so you don't have to leave the area to go get it. 

 Gear: This is an in/out of water course and requires a drysuit(wetsuit?), helmet, PFD and footwear.  Dress for the weather for classroom instruction. Camp chair recommended. Coffee cup.

 Cost: $70 per person. (This is an 18 and older event)

 Class Summary

 This two-day river safety training is a hands-on customized class for recreational kayakers, rafters, and guides who want to hone their swiftwater rescue skills.  Each day is broken up into a classroom module and an experiential component.  Day 1 starts with rescue theory and hydrology.  We will introduce several different types of ropes and teach the minimalist approach to hardware, knots, and other tools.  We will introduce foot entrapments / bow pins, contact rescues, wading rescues, and swimming in rapids.  Day 2 focuses on group management, victim behavior, and preemptive safety.  We will teach you how to build and pick proper anchors, and elaborate on mechanical advantage.  Finally, we will recreate real life scenarios that will test all the knowledge you have learned and help you build the judgment that will help save lives.

Specific River Safety Drills Will Include

  • Safely swimming in swiftwater
  • Fording shallow and fast-moving water utilizing various techniques
  • Crossing deep, slow-moving and fast-moving water utilizing basic gear, small boats, and combinations of the two.
  • Understanding swiftwater rescue team organization
  • Utilizing climbing and technical rescue gear applicable to swiftwater rescue
  • Utilize basic communication strategies
  • Practical exercises to reinforce classroom theory


   Matt Saucy safety(at)oregonwhitewater.org 

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River Safety Training - New Member


Everything is the same as above. This is for people who are not currently a member of OWA. This will include the cost of the class plus your first year's OWA membership.

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