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River Safety and Rescue Training

We believe everyone should be equipped with basic river safety skills. Learn, upskill or get qualified to teach in a dynamic swift water environment.

River Safety in Aotearoa

We believe safety around water and rivers is an essential skill for everyone; just have a look at the stats of drownings each year from Water Safety New Zealand

Course Outline

Quote available on request

Courses between 1/2 day to 2 days

Participant requirements:

Appropriate for ages 8 and up. We’ll tailor the course to suit your group.

Course Topics:

There’s so much to know, but here’s some of the topics we can aim to cover in a session.

River Safety

  • White water swimming
  • Water hazard identification
  • River crossings and wading
  • Decision making
  • Entering and exciting the water
  • Communication
  • Gear and equipment

River Rescue

  • Rescue hierarchy and philosophy
  • Throw Line/Throw Bag  and other resources
  • Dealing with an unconscious person
  • Entrapments
  • River and water side first aid


Our Eco Lodge and Cabins are available to book and can be arranged for stay alongside your course on request.


We run courses all over Canterbury and can arrange one near Peel Forest, or we can come to you! Common locations we teach at include the Rangitata River, Orari River, Opihi River and the Waimakariri River. Some locations are craft-dependant.

Programme Options

We offer River Safety/River Rescue courses at all levels ranging from purely educational to professional level on foot, kayak or raft.


Schools and Groups

Short courses can be run alongside a day kayaking, rafting or abseiling near the Orari gorge. They can also be run as a separate and specific activity used to help meet curriculum requirements or purely for the benefit of knowledge!

River safety is often one of our most popular activities for school camps as we use interactive teaching techniques to keep students learning, thinking and moving down the river.

We can offer workplace specific water safety courses for places that require staff to work around or in rivers. This type of training teaches your staff how to make smart decisions to keep themselves safe on/near a river and also how to deal with rescue in worse-case scenarios.

We offer training for professionals working in swift water environments. This training can be in kayaks or on land depending on the goal.

NZOIA Instructor Training

We are able to provide NZOIA River Rescue training and assessments. We can offer both River Rescue 1 and 2.

NZOIA River Rescue 1

This is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to sit their NZOIA Kayak 1 assessment. It is a pre-requisite for NZOIA River Rescue 1

NZOIA River Rescue 2 

This course is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to sit their NZOIA Kayak 2 assessment.

See the NZOIA website for more details on these qualifications.

Look at some of our participants in action!

Other activities

We aim to provide opportunities for all to experience, learn and grow. Our safe, affordable, and quality outdoor and environmental programmes are designed to educate, challenge and inspire.