Rescue For Rec Boaters

Rescue for Rec Boaters - Rivers   

This course has closed for 2019.

Photo courtesy of Chris Funk, Jackson Kayak

Rescue for Rec Boaters is an entry-level safety and rescue class for kayakers, canoeists, and stand-up paddlers who plan on paddling flat water lakes and slow moving rivers such as the Caney Fork, Cumberland, Harpeth, Piney or Stones Rivers. It is not intended for paddlers who plan to paddle Class II or higher whitewater rivers such as Clear Creek, the Hiwassee, Ocoee, Nantahala or Tuckaseegee rivers. For these rivers, please attend TSRA's Basic River Rescue or Swiftwater Rescue. This is not a paddling class; if you do not have basic paddling skills, please first attend Intro to Kayaking  or Intro to Rivers- Whitewater Basics.

Requirements: Basic swimming and paddling ability

Required Equipment:
•    boat/paddle craft
•    paddle
•    PFD (life jacket)
•    whistle
•    clothing suitable for swimming
•    closed-toed footwear that will not come off while swimming and will protect your feet when walking in water and on rocks. (Old sneakers work great.)

Recommended Equipment:
•    boat flotation bags
•    paddle float
•    bilge pump or bailer
•    helmet (optional)
•    waist-belt tow rope (lakes)
•    throw rope (50' of 3/8” rope in a throw bag) (rivers)

Class Registration Costs:
TSRA Members          $35 per day 
TSRA Non-members  $45 per person

River Day Location:
Piney River, Bon Aqua, TN
Meet at Piney River Escape Campground

Lake Day Location:
Jefferson Springs Recreation Area Picnic Pavilion
West Jefferson Pike
Smyrna, TN 37167
on J. Percy Priest Lake

Class starts at 8:30 a.m.
Class will end promptly at 5 p.m.

For questions, please contact Mike Tossing at 636-295-5433 or

This course offers two separate days of instruction, one day on a river and one day on a lake (river day is being offered twice this year). Students may register for one or both days. Lake day will consist of 2-3 hours of classroom / dry land time, and 4-5 hours of in-water time practicing boat-based flat water rescues at the Jefferson Springs Recreation Area on J. Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, TN. River day will also have 2-3 hours of classroom / dry land time and 4-5 hours of time on a slow moving river. Water levels permitting, we'll be on the Piney River for river day.

Your instructors will be ACA (American Canoe Association) certified Swiftwater Rescue or River Kayaking Instructors. The class will contain videos, lectures, group discussions, demonstrations and lots of actual hands-on practice where you will learn how to rescue yourself, how to rescue someone else, how to be rescued by someone else...and how to avoid problems in the first place! 

*Kids are welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian and if both can swim and paddle independently.