Small boat rescue & handling requires multiple skills, techniques, and types of equipment that must be redundantly practiced for the rescue to be safe and effective. Like all our programs, Small Boat Rescue & Handling is customized to your department’s needs in terms of environmental conditions, personnel skill levels, types of drowning, and types of vessels and equipment available.
Some of the topics covered in the program include:

  • Rescuer Safety & Accident Prevention
  • What are the minimum skills a boat operator should have to handle a vessel during rescues in various situations
  • Boat Maintenance and Minor Repair – How to save the department significant money and downtime.
  • Victim Extrication and handling – establishing positive buoyancy, safely securing the conscious, injured, and/or unconscious victim into/on the vessel..

  • Course Set-up

    This program requires a classroom with a black or whiteboard for approximately 3-4 hours. This lecture includes proper boating techniques, current and wind equations, rescue swimmer skills, anchoring procedures, and the program's ground rules. Much of this information will appear later on the final written examination.
    Part two of the program takes place outside where the boats sit on their trailers. We examine each boat and provide instruction on how to better set it up for rescue operations. This information, plus that provided in the classroom, is then used to set up anchors, lines, etc. for each boat with an all hands-on cooperative effort.
    Our Instructors will demonstrate how to hone and tune a prop, after which time, the rest of the props will be tuned by the students. A couple of heavy and light rasp files, a rubber mallet and a two-by-four must be provided by the host department for this exercise.
    Other equipment that should be ready is extra line, extra chain, bungee cords, duct tape and a couple of cement blocks or cement filled gallon containers with an eye-hook secured to one end.
    The class moves to the water site. Various stations will be set up for hands-on rescues with boats, exposure suits and fins, shore-based procedures, and more.

    All programs can be customized to meet the exact needs of the hosting department.

    Two and a half day program
    Maximum number of students: 25
    Required Equipment: helmets, PFDs (appropriately sized), wet or drysuit, appropriate gloves. Helmets and PFD’s can be rented for $5 each for the duration of the course to students who do not have their own. Helmets, PFD’s and gloves can be purchased during the course at reduced cost. Lifeguard Systems provides the low angle rigging equipment, and if necessary vessels.
    Certification: Wall Certificate included in the fee.

    Course Costs: $3,300, and two hotel rooms for two nights (which are typically donated by hotel). Please note: Some staff travel expenses may need to be added depending on course location.
    Optional- Each student may purchase a photo ID certification card for $25 at class, $26 if purchased after class.
    Suggested Retail Cost per student: Host should charge and collect $125 – $175 per student.

    Contact for more details
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