Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association

   Protecting clean water and free-flowing rivers in TN since 1966.

Swiftwater Rescue

  • Friday, July 24, 2020
  • 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, July 26, 2020
  • 5:00 PM
  • Ocoee River, Ocoee, TN
  • 0


  • Registration open till July 22.
  • Registration for non TSRA members will open July 15.

Registration is closed

ACA Level 4 Swift Water Rescue Course

Late Registration: +$20; students admitted at instructor discretion.

Questions? Contact Jim McCool

Whitewater enthusiasts participate in hazardous activities in wilderness environments. Are you prepared to rescue yourself or your best paddling friend?  Are they prepared to rescue you?  Help in many cases may not be immediately available, and might be hours (not minutes) away. 

Sign up and bring your favorite paddling crew to this clinic. It’s like buying yourself, and them, the safety line that may save your lives.

Led by Jim McCool, Woody Woodall and Charlie Wilkerson, this course is designed to teach basic swiftwater rescue techniques where limited personnel and/or safety gear is available.  Our instructors have in excess of 50 years combined experience teaching whitewater paddling and swiftwater rescue. They’ve provided instruction to hundreds of individuals and many paddling clubs in Tennessee and Kentucky as well as training Tennessee and National Park Service Rangers, firefighters, other first responders and many more. 

This clinic will include outdoor classroom instruction, shore and boat based river skills and realistic scenarios. Successful completion of this course will prepare you to self-rescue and aid in the rescue of others in whitewater environments.
ACA Swiftwater Rescue Level 4 teaches: Rescue skills and techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as strainers, rescue vest applications, entrapments, and pins. Scenarios will provide an opportunity for participants to practice their skills both individually and within a team/group (limited) context. Due to current CDC requirements with social distancing we will only discuss and demonstrate some of the contact rescues and group skills. We have however added some level 3 boat based skills. 
Class size will be limited to 16 students.

Who:       Adults and Minors 15 years and older (Parent/Legal Guardian MUST Accompany minor. Minor participation must be pre-arranged with instructors.)

Time:  Friday-7:00pm – 9:00pm (river knots practice)
Saturday-8:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday-8:00am - 5:00pm

Note:    Bunkhouse or Primitive camping at River Rats Campground (RRC) is included in course fees. Bunkhouse space will be limited due to Covid-19. RV hook-ups are available for an additional fee. Reservations and payment for RV sites will be handled by registrant directly with RRC.

Required Gear:

PFD, Helmet, Shoes, Protective Clothing, Throw Rope, Carabiners, Whitewater boat, Skirt, & Paddle

**This course WILL involve paddling. You will need a whitewater boat and paddle.


Please recognize that this class is extremely physically demanding and involves your voluntarily placing yourself into potentially life-threatening situations. We will discuss the hazards involved and will work to minimize them. However, we cannot eliminate the risks. Therefore, the course will be taught in a CHALLENGE BY CHOICE format. In other words, you determine what you do and how hard you push yourself within the boundaries of the course. There have been instances of simulations turning into real life-threatening situations in SWR courses. If you are uncomfortable with anything you are asked to do in this course, it is YOUR responsibility to say so and refuse to participate in the activity. Instructors, and the other participants will fully understand anyone refusing to participate in any of the activities. It is your choice to participate or not. Because of the potential hazards involved with the course, your instructors expect that you will ask questions whenever you are unsure of something and that you will immediately speak up whenever you see anything you believe to be hazardous.

Registration closes 3 days prior to start date. LATE REGISTRANTS will be admitted only if instructors are available to maintain a good instructor-to-student ratio. LATE REGISTRANTS will be charged an additional $20.

Please note:
TSRA Schools are organized and run by volunteers. Our volunteers need enough time to reserve staff , equipment and do many other things. Please thank the volunteers who donate their time to make this class come to life!

SWR Cancellation Policy:

  • If TSRA cancels class, for any reason: Full refund.
  • Until one week prior to class: full refund minus $10.00 fee.
  • One week until class start: full refund minus $10.00 fee if substitute student is found. Otherwise NO REFUND (regardless of reason for cancellation). Money will be refunded only after substitute pays for registration.
  • After class starts: NO REFUND

Questions should be directed to Jim McCool.

Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, #58-1746179.

P.O. Box 159041 Nashville, Tennessee 37215-9041

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