River Safety Training (RST)

River Safety Training Class 2024

Welcome to this year's OWA sponsored River Safety Training, we are excited to be practicing skills on the river with you! This class will be taught on April 13th and 14th at Dodge park by three certified instructors and led by Sam Drevo of eNRG Kayaking. On Friday, 4/12 we will be leading a knot tying event at eNRG kayaking’s headquarters in Oregon City. The knot tying event will have FREE PIZZA and is a great way to get familiar with the knots used in the class, participation is optional but learning these knots beforehand will help in understanding the course content and executing the live exercises. Feel free to send me an email, safety(at)oregonwhitewater.org, with any questions.


Dates:  April 13th and 14th  (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 location: 1701 Clackamette Dr, Oregon City, OR 97045-1042

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, helmet, PFD and footwear.  Dress for the weather for classroom instruction - rain and cool temps are likely. Camp chair and personal coffee cup are recommended. Participants are encouraged to mark any personal rescue gear they may choose to use (carabiners, prussiks, flip lines, etc.) with colored electrical tape or in some other durable way to ensure their gear is recovered at the end of the weekend. Use of personal rescue gear is optional, instructors will have everything needed for course content and practical exercises. 

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


Will Brezinski safety(at)oregonwhitewater.org 

Class Sign Up

To sign up for the trip, become a member, fill out the eNRG waiver and pay your class fee using the shopping cart button below.

Step 1: OWA Membership

Membership in OWA is required for River Safety Training. If you are already a current member, you may skip to the next section.

Not a member of Oregon Whitewater yet? Please sign up for a membership first and then come back to sign the waiver and pay for the course.

Join the Oregon Whitewater Association


Step 2: Fill out eNRG Waiver

Fill out the eNRG Waiver below and click the "Agree to this Document" button. Make sure to click that button before moving on to the payment section.

Every person in your party needs to have the waiver filled out, even if you are paying for them. 

Step 3: Payment

River Safety Training (RST)


Current Members

OWA Members $70 per person - This amount is highly subsidized by OWA

This class is sold out. Contact safety(at)oregonwhitewater.org for the potential waitlist.