Swiftwater Paddle Boat Handling (SPBH)

The Swiftwater Paddle Boat Handling (SPBH) course is designed for Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue Technicians (SRTs), who wish to improve and expand on their paddle boat handling ability. It follows on from the basic boat handling section in the SRT class and covers in more depth, swiftwater boat handling and rescue scenarios using the paddle boat as a rescue craft.

It is a supporting course to assist trained swiftwater rescuers, rather than a qualification to be used by professional river users. Shortly and sweetly, it’s not a raft guide qualification. The Swiftwater Paddle Boat Handling course is designed as a paddle boat handling course only, and does not cover use of powered craft. However, it may be used to support Rescue 3 powerboat courses.


Course length:

2 days


Course content includes:

  • Rescue 3 philosophy
  • Water rescue training standards
  • Personal equipment
  • Dynamic risk assessment and incident size-up
  • Pre-planning
  • Medical and decontamination considerations
  • Route planning
  • Communications
  • Crew operational roles
  • Multiple boat operations
  • Swiftwater dynamics and hazards
  • Boat and hull types
  • Rescue boat equipment
  • Pre- and post-trip checks
  • Considerations for night/poor visibility operations
  • Launching and recovery
  • Boat handling with paddles
  • Securing
  • Flips and rights
  • Team/personal recovery
  • Casualty pick-up and recovery
  • Casualty management
  • Boat-based conditional rescues
  • Boat wraps
  • Hydraulics and weir considerations




Course standard

Rescue 3 Europe SPBH standard (PDF)

The course standards are provided as pre- and post-course reference for people involved in the delivery of Rescue 3 courses (eg Rescue 3 training providers, instructors and students). They are not to be used for any other purpose without the express written permission of Rescue 3 Europe.


Learning outcomes and key teaching points for instructors

Rescue 3 Europe SPBH learning outcomes and key teaching points for instructors (PDF)


 Taught by:

  • Swiftwater Paddle Boat Handling Instructor (SPBHI)


Student manual PDF download:

SPBH manual - English (en) 



To request the password, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., giving details of when and where you took your course.