The RSR 3 is a two day course designed for intermediate and advance level canoeists who wish to undertake relevant training in River Safety and Rescue techniques appropriate to water of Grade III and above difficulty.


Objectives of the RSR 3

The RSR 3 aims are to enable candidates to:

  • Understand the appropriate equipment for Grade III water
  • Develop an understanding of Safe Practices on Grade III water
  • Execute self rescue on Grade III water
  • Rescue of others in Grade III water
  • Rescue of equipment in Grade III water

Course Outline

This is designed to be a flexible course to allow for students needs and previous experience- notwithstanding this the core element of the syllabus must include:

  • Personal Equipment for Grade III
  • Advanced Hydrology/Dynamics of Grade III and above rivers
  • Safe practices and accident prevention methods – CLAP (Communication, Line of Sight, Avoidance, Positioning)
  • Risk Assessment and Decision making on Grade III Rivers
  • Safety Zones & Leadership
  • Safe River Running Methods (Follow the Leader, Herd and Drive, Eddy Hopping, Leap Frog)
  • Safe order of Priority
  • Self Rescue - Defensive/Offensive swimming in Grade III
  • Systematic approach to a rescue: Talk, Reach, Throw, Row, Go, Helo (Talk – Command words, Reach – Reaching techniques, Throw – Throw rope rescue technique, Stabilisation Lines, Cinch Lines, Row – Chase boating, Barging, Towing, Carries, Rescues, Go – V-Lower, Helo – Making calls to emergency services, Evacuations)
  • Progression of extraction - pins
  • Knots
  • Z Drag – Mechanical Advantage
  • Pig Rig – Mechanical Advantage
  • Access & Egress

Recommended Equipment List for Participants:

  • Wetsuit or Drysuit
  • Thermals
  • ISO/CE Approved Buoyancy Aid with integrated harness
  • ISO/CE Approved Helmet
  • Adequate hard sole footwear
  • Throw Bag
  • Knife
  • Whistle
  • Two Slings, at least one open Sling 4 - 5 metres in length
  • Snap Gate Karabiner x 2
  • Screw Gate Karabiner x 3
  • Prussic Loop x 2
  • Mobile Phone
  • First Aid Kit

Additional Equipment that will be  used for demonstration during the course

  • Kisu
  • Spare Clothes
  • Repair Kit
  • Split paddle
  • Other essential gear



  • Applying to attend this course applicants must be of a Level 4 skills standard
  • The RSR 3 training course should be delivered and run on water of Grade III difficulty as part of a river trip
  • It is recommended that RSR 3 certification be renewed at least once every 5 years
  • Be registered as a member with Canoeing Ireland
  • Ratio 1:4


This training course is a pre-requirement of the Level 5 Kayak Skills Assessment