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Safety and Rescue Essentials

Chris Brain coaching

An introduction to the techniques required for the whitewater paddler by Chris Brain.

Over the last four months we’ve been working very closely with Chris brain to produce his manual for all whitewater paddlers.

Chris’s original idea for the project was to produce a three-part ‘Safety Series’ for the Paddler magazine in 2017, outlining some of the fundamentals of whitewater safety and rescue that went on to be a huge 10-part series. He wanted to get people thinking about and discussing safety and rescue and to promote a culture of responsibility and safe decision-making. he is now pleased to have stayed true to his original intention, which was to create a freely available resource for the paddling community. Even if just one person reads this and then puts airbags in their boat, cuts their chest harness down to the right size and gets their throwbag out to practice, then Chris will have achieved his goal.

The content of this resource is intended to be just an introduction and is not everything that you could ever need to know about whitewater rescue. There are also plenty of different ways to perform these rescues and what he has presented is just a cross-section and selected highlights of each topic.

Topics include

  • Planning, preparation and incident avoidance
  • Kit, equipment and boat set up
  • Swimming in whitewater
  • Simple rescues such as shouting, reaching and throwing
  • Mechanical Advantage systems
  • Boat based rescues (canoe and kayak)
  • Using a chest harness
  • Entrapment situations
  • Accessing Steep ground

The digital version of Safety and Rescue Essentials is now available to download at

The manual is free but a donation would be welcome. Alternatively, there is a printed version available for £12.00 at:

About thepaddlerezine (655 Articles)
Editor of The Paddler magazine and Publisher of Stand Up Paddle Mag UK.

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