• Jonny Hawkins

BC White Water Safety and Rescue Resources

Updated: May 2

The British Canoeing White Water Safety and Rescue training is designed for all paddlers operating in the white water environment. It aims to teach simple and practical safety and rescue skills that can be applied appropriately to a moderate white water environment.


I have compiled a list of resources to support your learning before and after the course. As with all practical topics there is no substitute for getting hands on. Use these resources to direct your practice on the water, on the bank during shuttles and at home dragging your sofa across the living room!


Chris Brain has written a brilliant book covering all the topics in the WWSR syllabus. You can download it here and purchase a paper back copy here.

White water safety and rescue book

Dougie Shannon and Bruce Jollife have produced a great series of films that cover everything in the WWSR syllabus.

Franco Ferrero's White Water Safety and Rescue book is a brilliant resource that goes into a bit more detail than Chris' book mentioned above with great pictures and diagrams to aid understanding.

William Nealy's book Kayak, The New Frontier is an awesome illustrated text book that explains lots of kayaking techniques and has a brilliant chapter on understanding river hydrology which is a key element in WWSR.

There are 3 knots that are useful to know to be able to carry out a range of rescues. the Clove hitch, Full strength tie off (no knot), Overhand knot. This video explains them well.


Information about how long your quick release harness should be here.


For more information about the WWSR award, the syllabus and course notes can be found here.


I hope you find these resources useful and that they will help you have a safer, more enjoyable time out on the water. If you have any other resources that you think folk might find useful, please post them in the comments section below. Get in touch if you would like to learn more about these skills during a practical, hands on White Water Safety and Rescue course.


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