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Basic River Rescue

  • Friday, July 12, 2024
  • 6:00 PM (EDT)
  • Sunday, July 14, 2024
  • 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Gee Creek Campground, Delano, TN
  • 10


Register Here! (You will be redirected to CHOTA's website to register).

Held at Gee Creek Campground on the Hiwassee River, in Delano, Tennessee. You can arrive Friday evening at your convenience. The school begins Friday night, where you will meet with your instructors to prepare for Saturday morning. Saturday we will spend half a day (before lunch) doing land instruction. After lunch we will be on the river. Sunday, we will be the same, land instruction and river time. All meals are your responsibility, except for dinner on Sat Saturday Night. We will provide dinner and some instruction at camp. Class is limited to 10 people, with a waiting list. We will open a second class, if the wait list fills up.

This class provides an opportunity for you to learn how to help yourself and your paddling friends whenever you run into trouble on the river. Examples of what is covered during the weekend include:

  • How to throw and catch a throw rope
  • Simple mechanical advantage systems
  • Swimming with and without your boat/paddle
  • Wading in current
  • Boat based rescues - boat over boat, T-rescues, deep water re-entry

This course will be taught by Swiftwater Rescue trained instructors. Students will need to have some basic comfort with their paddling skills ON WHITEWATER before embarking on the training. A roll is not necessary in order to take this class.


1. Professional quality training in basic river rescue techniques over two days

2. Two nights at the Gee Creek Campground. (We will be sharing sites in the A-Loop so if you'd prefer a private site, feel free to reserve your own at your cost) Bring your own tent, sleeping gear, and food. We have sites A1, A23, & A25. incase you want to snag your own spot nearby.


The following is a minimum suggested list of equipment necessary for the school:

Whitewater boats (no recreational boats) are required for this course. If you have any questions as to whether or not your boat is acceptable, please contact James (Woody) Woodall at

  • Whitewater Kayaks: Kayak Flotation air bags for your boat Paddle Spray skirt (be sure it fits the cockpit and your waist) Helmet (appropriate for whitewater and fits your head) PFD -life vest- Type III


  • Whitewater Canoes: Solo or tandem boat Paddle (s) a spare paddle is nice to have Flotation air bags Helmet PFD Type III

Flotation is necessary outfitting for any whitewater boat; we will be taking swims on purpose and flotation helps prevent the boat from taking on too much water.


  • Exposure Protection : polypropylene, wool, paddling jacket, wetsuit or drysuit. NO COTTON! The Hiwassee water is COLD- you will need extra layers.
  • River booties or other foot protection (no open toed shoes, no exceptions)- You will be walking on rocks!
  • Dry bag for keeping lunch, extra clothing, camera and valuables dry Sunglasses or glasses should have retainers that float, otherwise they will sink Nose clips (optional) Sunblock (oil free) Water Bottle (hydration is very important on the river) *Leave valuable jewelry at home!
  • If you have one, Throw Rope, Whistle, and Paddling 1st Aid Kit, but not require.

Please note:

TSRA Schools are organized and run by volunteers. Our volunteers need enough time to organize class. 

For additional information email James (Woody) Woodall or Vinson Dill at

Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, #58-1746179.

P.O. Box 159041 Nashville, Tennessee 37215-9041

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