(Registration Deadline: 6/1/2018)


Location: Riverpark Campground – Jonesborough, TN

ACA Instructor: Scott Fisher

Assistant Instructors: Jeremy Gass & Wesley R. Bradley


Whitewater enthusiasts participate in hazardous activities in wilderness environments. Are you prepared to rescue yourself or your best paddling friend?  Are they prepared to rescue you?  Help in many cases may not be immediately available, and might be hours, not minutes away. Sign up and bring your favorite paddling crew to this clinic. It’s like buying yourself, and them, the safety line that may save your lives.

SWR V-Lower

The Basic SWR Course, sponsored by Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts (APEs) and Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoe Club (TEHCC), is one in a series of swiftwater rescue courses offered through the American Canoe Association. The course is led by ACA certified swiftwater rescue and kayak instructor Scott Fisher and is designed to teach the recreational paddler basic swiftwater rescue techniques where limited personnel and/or safety gear is available. Scott has provided instruction to hundreds of individuals, paddling clubs, firefighters, rescue personnel, staff of church youth camps, and local outfitter guides. The clinic will include classroom instruction, river skills and realistic scenarios.  Successful completion of this course will prepare you to self-rescue and aid in the rescue of others in whitewater environments.

SWR Rope

Course Overview: The Swiftwater Rescue Course teaches recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and rescue techniques for paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly used skills. Techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as strainers, rescue vest applications, entrapments, and pins, also are practiced. Scenarios will provide an opportunity for participants to practice their skills both individually and within a team/group context.

SWR Attainment

Course Objectives:

Promote proactive prevention of river accidents and injuries.

Develop and practice key self-rescue skills.

Identify and avoid river hazards by understanding hydrology, hazards, and river features.

Focus on fast, low-risk strategies for early management of river accidents

Develop and practice methods for recovering swimmers, and loose boats and equipment

Develop and practice more advanced rope-based and in-water skills

Gain experience using the rescue PFD, and understand its strengths and weaknesses

Utilize rescue scene management principles needed within a paddling group


Course Prerequisites:  All paddle craft are welcome.  Ideally, students should be able to competently maneuver their craft in at least class II whitewater.  However, all boaters, and non-boaters with an interest in swiftwater rescue (e.g., professional rescuers), will benefit from the class. Participants should be in good health and overall fitness, possess solid swimming ability, and be comfortable swimming in moving current during river drills.  Participants should dress appropriately for weather and temperature, and should expect to be in the water for extended periods of time.


Minimum personal equipment for class: Type III PFD designed for whitewater use (Rescue PFD is recommended but not required), whitewater helmet, protective clothing suitable for extended swimming in cold water, protective footwear, boat, paddle, whistle, throw rope, 15+ feet of one inch tubular nylon webbing, 2 locking carabiners, and 2 prusick loops (2 x 6-8 feet pieces of 4-5 millimeter polypropylene cord)


Who:      Adults and Minors 15 years and older (Parent/Legal Guardian MUST accompany minor and arranged ahead).  Instructors reserve the right to exclude anyone if they feel safety will be compromised.

When:    Friday, June 8th 7:00pm – 9:00pm; Saturday, June 9th 8:00am – 7:00pm (Saturday Evening Session TBD); Sunday, June 10th 8:00am – 5:00pm

Where:   Friday evening: Riverpark Campground (3937 Highway 81 South, Jonesborough, TN 37659); Saturday: Riverpark/Lower Nolichucky River; Sunday: Riverpark/Lower Nolichucky River

Cost:      $95; $85 if already an APEs member; ACA members can further deduct $5

Registration and payment deadline is 6/1/2018 (See Cancellation Policy in PDF Application)

Lodging Note:      Camping is available on site and should be reserved directly with Riverpark Campground


REGISTRATION:  There are two ways to register:

1. Online: Register online at http://www.riverapes.org/registration.html. After submitting your registration you will be directed to http://www.riverapes.org/paypal-1.html to pay for the course using PayPal.  APEs (or TEHCC) membership is required to participate and can also be purchased online at http://www.riverapes.org/paypal-1.html for $10.  No need to fill out and send in a separate membership form.  Your online registration will double for that purpose.

2. MailClick Here to download the PDF Registration Form and mail in with payment made out to APEs to Scott Fisher: 109 Highland Gate Dr., Johnson City, TN 37615. Those mailing in their registration can add the $10 annual APEs membership fee to their course payment.  No need to fill out and send in a separate membership form.  Your registration form will double for that purpose.

ONLINE NOTE: Courses not listed in Registration Course Menu are full.  Please contact Scott at scottfisher00@gmail.com to be placed on waiting list.

Questions: Feel free to contact Scott at 276-698-4644 or scottfisher00@gmail.com