The Swiftwater Safety Institute is currently in the final curriculum development stage of the first U.S. Advanced Kayak Rescue course (ARK).  This program launched in Idaho in 2012. Incorporating on-water rescue skills into a safety kayak specific class, a student can come away from this course as a certified safety kayaker. Safety kayakers are used on rivers all over the country without a regulatory body or industry wide standards.  Motivation for this course was generated to develop those standards, and increase the level of professionalism and safety within the whitewater industry. The course will set an industry-wide standard for professional safety kayakers.  Students will develop skills to provide safety support and gain perspective on their role on commercial river trips.  Students will understand that safety kayaking is about the safety of clients and not personal recreation.  Employers of safety kayakers will benefit from this course by having properly trained employees.

We stage scenarios where swimmer and gear retrieval are very complex. We will challenge the safety boater to quickly evaluate their rescue priorities, and if needed, arrest an overturned raft with simple and effective techniques after other priorities have been met. This is a fun adn fast paced course. Expect long and tiring days of paddling and utilizing simple rescue techniques to become an extremely qualified “Advanced Rescue Kayaker.”

Please contact SSI to customize training and secure a training location similar to what you would find yourself responding to safety boating incidents on.


  • 18 years of age
  • Proficient kayaker on all class IV whitewater
  • Adequate creek boat for safety kayaking
  • Strong swimming ability
  • A desire to become an extremely valuable part of your professional team