This clinic takes a hands-on, in-the-water approach to teaching river rescue and safety skills.
Swiftwater Rescue 2-day Course led by guest instructor Mike Mather
Offered May 13-14 2023
Learn Swiftwater Rescue with an Expert Instructor
This clinic takes a hands-on, in-the-water approach to teaching and practicing river rescue and safety skills using scenarios on whitewater up to class IV. Instructor Mike Mather sets up scenarios to practice specific skills such as aggressive swimming, swimming at strainers, wading rescues, rescuing a foot entrapment victim, unpinning boats, using tag lines, z-drags, and zip lines, and using a rescue lifejacket.
As boaters run more challenging sections of river, they need to match their rescue skills to the difficulty of the water. Our two-day Swiftwater Rescue course provides folks with a unique opportunity to practice rescue scenarios in a challenging setting with our expert instructors.
Swiftwater Rescue participants should be class II-III boaters and should consider the 2-day River Rescue course. This course is appropriate for rafters, canoeists, kayakers, or professional rescuers who are familiar with class II whitewater. Some prior river rescue knowledge is helpful to get the most out of the class.
What should I wear?
While some of the flatwater areas we use are quite warm in June, July, and August, the Deerfield River is always cool, regardless of the time of year or air temperature. When packing your paddling clothes, please plan accordingly, especially if you are coming early or late in the season (April, May, September, and October). Our clinics will run rain or shine.
Wear items such as:
- Synthetic long underwear, garments made of polypropylene, capilene, or some polyester/spandex blend.
- Fleece or wool socks
- Bathing suit
- Fleece or wool jacket/sweater (early/late season or if you tend to chill easily)
Other items to bring:
- Retaining strap for glasses
- Nose plugs
- Required medications
- Extra money for snacks or t-shirts
Zoar Outdoor will provide:
- paddle jacket
- life jacket
- We provide a catered picnic-style lunch on all our clinics. Typical lunches include homemade rolls, sliced turkey, ham or other meats, sliced cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, chips, salsa, hummus, pasta or other salad, cookies or other dessert and hot and cold drinks.
The following statement is required by state law: “Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy.”
We do not use nuts in our food, but can not guarantee that the ingredients in our meals do not contain nuts or other food allergens. If you have food allergies or other special dietary needs, we strongly suggest you bring your own bag lunch in non-glass containers and we will pack it with the other lunches on your trip. Please inform our office at 413-339-4010 or [email protected] if you intend to do this.
(If you own your own equipment, we suggest you use it in the clinic to get used to its quirks.)
Mike Mather is an ACA certified Swiftwater Rescue instructor trainer with over 20 years of rescue experience in West Virginia, Colorado and around the country. He has taught classes around the world by request, has experience with teaching courses for the military and has set up high rise construction site rope safety. He is a wizard with ropes and provides some of the best river rescue instruction in the United States.