01690 720214

White Water Safety & Rescue

Course Overview

This course is run in conjunction with the BCU to coach recreational white water paddlers in all aspects of white water safety and rescue technique. The course covers three different topics in a very practical way: safety (staying out of trouble), rescue (getting out of trouble) and boat and equipment recovery (dealing with trouble).

Experience Required

competent grade II paddler.

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?

The course takes place on Grade II Water, candidates will be expected to paddle and swim in the water.

Course Content

There are two facets to the course:

Avoidance is better than cure, so we will look at developing an understanding of :

  • Hydrology

  • River hazards

  • River running techniques

Secondly, our aim will be to provide hands-on experience and therefore understanding of techniques which you may have only read about:

  • Simple and effective rescue and recovery techniques

  • Use of throwline, sling and two karabiners

  • Use of chest harness and simple rope systems

The syllabus is available to download here.

There will be a small BCU fee payable on completion of this course. please bring a cheque book as we are required to send fee's direct to the BCU and they are unable to accept cash or cards.

Useful Books

The following books cover the techniques and topics which we will be looking at:White Water Safety and Rescue by Franco FerreroKayak by William Nealy

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Kayak or canoe hire
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Equipment hire
    Drysuit hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Personal paddling equipment

  • Footwear to cope with bank and boat

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Warm clothes for off the water

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Towel

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Bouyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • High factor sunscreen

  • Midge repellant

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Notebook and pen

  • BCU logbook/paperwork

  • Dry bag

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

  • Safety and rescue kit (you would normally carry)

  • Cheque book for any BCU fees due

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.

  • Wetsuit

  • Paddling cag

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Dry bag

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

  • All safety and rescue kit

For safety and rescue courses only a dry suit will be provided if required

Customer Reviews For This Course

Taught in a way that really sticks with you.

Had a great time.

The food was good and the sleeping quarters were clean and comfortable. The actual centre was well equipped and was easily able to supply me all the paddling equipment we needed.

The course itself was also good.
The locations were quite beautiful along with being ideal for what we were learning (if a little cold).
The teachers were both friendly and competent, I felt safe practising risky procedures around them and they taught in a way that really sticks with you. They were also very helpful in making sure I was comfortable. At one point there was some rapids to kayak and you were given the option to paddle it or do riverbank safety for it. You're not forced to do anything, refusal just means that you're making safety based choices which is good.

Swimmer Keep Your Feet Up

Gordon Keddie

Having been paddling for a few years with friends thought it was time to get some proper training under the belt for their sake and mine.! On approaching this course I held the FSRT, had read WWSR by Franco and had participated in many bank based recues and chase boating but had no experience in rope work for entrapments or pinned kayaks/canoes. My main aim was to get as much hand on practice in these areas as possible and also to try swimming in a re-circulating stopper.
I'm glad to say from day 1 Chris took us back to basics with active swimming from the casualty to: Shout, Reach Throw and Go, Tow was for tomorrow. The new swimming skills involved dealing with disorientation, turning direction mid flow, powering across eddy lines, tucking up over drops (make sure the helmet really is on tight)and pushing off obstructions. This was rounded off with surfing across a recirculating stopper, lots of throw line practice and live bait rescues, a great exhilarating fun day with lots of tips for future use, SWIMMER KEEP YOURE FEET UP!
Day 2 started with Swimmer and equipment rescues in real situations from our kayaks and putting into practice all we learnt from day 1. This was followed by the anticipated rope work with special attention to the 'Clean Line Principal'. The use of 3 karabiners to get a 4:1 pulley was good to see and practice and the scenarios of foot/kayak entrapment without doubt brought home the need for all kayaking friends to get some up to date training, a real eye opener on how quickly you need to react, be prepared!

Excellent course and instrcution

Shane Clark

What an excellent course!
First day on the tryweryn swimming and rescuing in the rapids - cold but great fun. The instructor, Chris, was excellent managed to fish me out of the pinning on the "chipper". Day two more rescue skills and in boat. The course covered all the requirements of the course and Chris's knowledge, understanding and experience of the subject is world class. A course i would highly recommend by a provider that is world class..

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Mark Mills

I came to this course with a number of years whitewater kayaking and coaching under my belt. When I did the majority of my qualifications, this course didn't exists.

As I am getting more and more involved in coaching on moving water again, I thought it would be prudent to undertake the course and see what the latest thoughts regarding river safety and rescue were.

On arrival at the centre, I was really impressed with the set up and the Professionalism of the staff. Welcoming and helpful. The rooms are by far the best I've ever stayed in whilst on a course of any kind.

The equipment that we had at our disposal was of the highest quality, and as we would be sharing our mini bus and trailer with Adam Harmer and his 4* course we quickly loaded the boats into the trailer and jumped on the mini bus and were off. There was good banter between the two courses and tales of what to expect and what to look out for on the rivers that we would be utilising that weekend.

Our coach for the weekend was Chris Evans. Chris was professional, highly enthusiastic and had a wealth of knowledge and experience under his belt. He broke the syllabus down into achievable goals for each member of the group, and mixed the groups up every so often, so the students worked with, and learnt from others past experiences.

At the end of the day we returned to the centre to a hearty meal and a few pints in the bar. Or as Chris put it "self reflection time".

The next morning we set off bright and early to maximise the most of our time on the river, and I say that it was time well spent.

I can honestly say that I came away from the weekend with a new outlook on the principles of rescues and river safety. I would definitely return to PYB for further courses.

An eye opener

andy jack

This has been an eye opener of a course, and would recommend it to anyone. If i was to offer any advice, it would be to include live rescues of boats and equipment instead of land base. Excellent staff and accommodation.

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

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