Wilderness Supply Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) I, II & III

$659.00 CAD
  • Product Number: 8403314

Course Date

May 14th - 17th, 2022 


Bird River, MB

Who Is This Course For

Professional river guides, instructors, beginner to advanced river runners.


16+ years, swimming ability, no experience needed.


In this 4 Day course, get international certification as a Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT)—the standard for river guides, instructors, and river runners. Build confidence, knowledge, and skills through hands-on practice and simulations.

You’ll gain tools for rescues, starting in easy rapids then challenging yourself in harder water and more complex situations. Become competent performing effective rescues with limited resources—and making smart decisions when river running.

Learning Outcomes

  • Hands-on practice with professional instructors, a great learning environment, and a well-run course
  • Increase your knowledge of the river environment to avoid hazards and work with the water, not against it
  • Practice techniques such as swimming, wading, and throwing ropes to move around the river, perform self-rescues, and rescue others
  • Learn knots, anchors, and rope systems for use in equipment recovery and transportation
  • Carry out effective rescues with limited resources when river running
  • Progress from learning skills in easy water to performing more complex rescues in bigger rapids
  • Gain experience and confidence through challenging simulations and drills

Take Away Materials

  • Certification card
  • Practical evaluation record sheet
  • Whitewater Rescue Technician sticker
  • Waterproof course manual: Whitewater Rescue Field Guide

Topics Covers

Basic skills

  • Swimming in moving water: self rescue and whitewater manoeuvres
  • Throw ropes
  • Contact rescues
  • Quick release safety harness and ‘live bait’ rescue
  • Rescue of panicked subjects
  • Shallow water crossing techniques
  • Knots, anchors, and basic tensioning systems
  • ‘Strainer’ swim

Advanced skills

  • Transportation systems
  • Advanced anchors and compound mechanical advantage systems
  • Supervised swim in a hole and hole rescue
  • Advanced swimming, throwing, and ‘live-bait’ rescues

Rescue problems & scenarios

  • Advanced foot and body entrapment
  • Canoe, kayak, and raft pins and wraps
  • Team rescue drills and extended simulations

Course Format and Overview

Daily schedule

Attendance for 100% of class time is mandatory. If you can’t make a session you need permission from the instructor in advance. Students who miss a section of the course without pre-approval may be asked to leave the course.

Attendance is mandatory

Attendance for 100% of class time is mandatory. If you can’t make a session you need permission from the instructor in advance. Students who miss a section of the course without pre-approval may be asked to leave the course.

Assessment and evaluation for certification

One of the most valuable aspects of Boreal River Rescue – Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) III certification is that it includes a practical evaluation. This proves that an individual holding the certification has demonstrated competency with their river rescue skills and not simply attended a workshop.

The assessment takes place on the river in a supportive, fun, and professional environment with the goals of evaluation, review, and continued learning. Students will get multiple chances to demonstrate competency with their skills.

Your certification is valid for 3 years from the date of issue.

To achieve the Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) I, II & III certification you need to:

  • Attend all sessions and participate throughout the course
  • Demonstrate an understanding of river safety and river rescue skills
  • Pass the practical evaluation on the last day

Equipment & Clothing to Bring

This is a general list of what to bring for a Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT) course. Please refer to your ‘student information package’ (emailed to you once you register) for a complete list specific to your course.

*Rental Equipment Is Available. Please call us at 204-783-9555 is you need to add any of the following to your enrollment:

  • Wetsuits = $55.00 + tax
  • Helmets = $10.00 + tax
  • Rescue PDF = $35.00 + tax

For the river:

  • Whitewater helmet – You can rent one from us for the whole course for $10 CAD.
  • Whitewater rescue PFD (personal floatation device) with quick-release harness – Needs to be in good condition and fit properly. You can rent a rescue PFD from us for the whole course for $35 CAD—it comes equipped with a knife, whistle, and quick release harness.
  • River shoes – closed toe, with full toe coverage that are supportive but also lightweight and draining with a grippy sole. This could be a model made specifically for the river or a lightweight running shoe. Neoprene shoes can work if they have enough support and traction but neoprene socks or booties are not adequate.
  • Wetsuit or drysuit   One of these is necessary for courses before mid-June or past mid-September in eastern or central North America. You’ll always need one on glacier-fed rivers. You can rent a full length wetsuit (4mm with fleece lining and full arms and legs) from us for the whole course for $55 CAD.
  • Base layers, insulation and socks – Make sure to have several layers of socks, pants, and tops made of wool, fleece, polyester, or another synthetic material to wear in addition to your wetsuit or drysuit (or to be worn on their own on sunny days and in warm water).
  • Surf shorts
  • Rash guard
  • Snacks, lunch, and water bottle or thermos – Keeping yourself fueled with calories is one of the keys to staying warm and happy. We usually don’t stop for a long lunch break but instead, take several shorter eating breaks throughout the day so it is good to bring lots of food and things that don’t require much preparation on the side of the river. Also make sure to have some high calorie snacks that you can keep in your PFD pocket.
  • Sunscreen, lip protection and bug repellent
  • Neoprene gloves (optional)
  • Neoprene head warmer (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Sunglasses or prescription glasses with strap (optional)

For on land:

  • Comfortable clothing

  • Comfortable shoes

  • Tuque (warm hat), gloves, or mitts for early and late season courses

  • Sun hat, visor, or baseball cap

  • Raingear

  • Gear bag or container to store your equipment for transport

  • Day pack or drybag to store your belongings during class

  • Pens and notepad

Consider the following items but refer to the ‘student information package’ for your course to see the accommodation options available and a more specific list:

  • Meals and cooking equipment
  • Camping equipment or bedding
  • Towel
  • Personal hygiene products and medications
  • Indoor clothing and shoes