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Foundation Safety and Rescue

The British Canoeing Foundation Safety and Rescue Training is aimed at providing paddlers with a range of rescue skills so that they can handle any scenarios which may occur whilst on the water. 

You will learn how to operate safely and deal with common emergencies in a sheltered water environment. 

The course is suitable for all paddlers, whether you go out paddling alone, with friends or family, as part of a club or group, as a coach or volunteer. Suitable for paddlers of any craft or discipline choice, this course is available as a bank-based or boat-based programme. 

If taking part as a bank-based participant you should be prepared to fully participate in the course and this may include being rescued from the water. 

Coaching is provided by our expert team and we provide all the equipment needed for the session; canoes/kayaks, paddles, buoyancy aids, wetsuits, cags and helmets. Alternatively you can bring your own equipment if you wish. 

Course information

  • Necessary skills to enable you to ensure the safety of yourself and others
  • Appropriate rescue skills which can be used to help yourself and/or others in difficulty
  • General theory and planning: safety and rescue protocols
  • Bank-based rescues: coaching a swimmer to shore, rescuing a swimmer with a rigid aid and rescuing a swimmer using a throw line
  • Boat-based rescues: rescuing a swimmer from the water, rescuing a capsized paddler using a deep water rescue, rescuing an unconscious or entrapped paddler from their boat, use of towlines, self-rescue and all-in rescue
  • Scenarios: dealing with simple paddling incidents involving up to two casualties; unconscious casualty in or out of their boat, injured or unwell, in difficulty and with broken or lost paddles

One day

  • This course is runs for one full day from 09:00 to 17:30

To attend this course you must:

  • Be able to swim in normal paddling clothing suitable for the prevailing conditions

Boat-based candidates must also:

  • Hold the current Paddle Explore Award, previous 2 Star Award or be of equivalent paddling ability due to the environment and the boat control required to complete the course

A First Aid certificate is not a formal prerequisite. However, holding a First Aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers.

Through our affiliation with British Canoeing and our partnership with the Canal and River Trust we have access to over 3000km of canals throughout England and Wales including the famous Leeds to Liverpool canal stretching 204km across the North of England. This access not only gives us the opportunity to journey along some of these magnificent waterways but also provides opportunities for courses in beautiful sheltered areas.

Most of the large bodies of open water in England are concentrated in the Lake District National Park. These magnificent bodies of water, including the longest and deepest lakes in England, Lake Windermere at 17km long and Wastwater at 74m deep, can be accessed by the public at many locations, however, through our partnership with the Youth Hostel Association we have preferential access to some of the best locations in the lakes. You could even combine any of our courses with a stay at one of 150 YHA hostels spread across England and Wales.

  • Necessary skills to enable you to ensure the safety of yourself and others
  • Appropriate rescue skills which can be used to help yourself and/or others in difficulty
  • General theory and planning: safety and rescue protocols
  • Bank-based rescues: coaching a swimmer to shore, rescuing a swimmer with a rigid aid and rescuing a swimmer using a throw line
  • Boat-based rescues: rescuing a swimmer from the water, rescuing a capsized paddler using a deep water rescue, rescuing an unconscious or entrapped paddler from their boat, use of towlines, self-rescue and all-in rescue
  • Scenarios: dealing with simple paddling incidents involving up to two casualties; unconscious casualty in or out of their boat, injured or unwell, in difficulty and with broken or lost paddles

One day

  • This course is runs for one full day from 09:00 to 17:30

To attend this course you must:

  • Be able to swim in normal paddling clothing suitable for the prevailing conditions

Boat-based candidates must also:

  • Hold the current Paddle Explore Award, previous 2 Star Award or be of equivalent paddling ability due to the environment and the boat control required to complete the course

A First Aid certificate is not a formal prerequisite. However, holding a First Aid certificate is strongly recommended for all paddlers.

Through our affiliation with British Canoeing and our partnership with the Canal and River Trust we have access to over 3000km of canals throughout England and Wales including the famous Leeds to Liverpool canal stretching 204km across the North of England. This access not only gives us the opportunity to journey along some of these magnificent waterways but also provides opportunities for courses in beautiful sheltered areas.

Most of the large bodies of open water in England are concentrated in the Lake District National Park. These magnificent bodies of water, including the longest and deepest lakes in England, Lake Windermere at 17km long and Wastwater at 74m deep, can be accessed by the public at many locations, however, through our partnership with the Youth Hostel Association we have preferential access to some of the best locations in the lakes. You could even combine any of our courses with a stay at one of 150 YHA hostels spread across England and Wales.