Swiftwater Rescue

ACA L4 Swiftwater Rescue Course

Girls at Play is excited to offer ACA Swiftwater Rescue Courses for women!  In our almost 20 years of experience on the river it has come to our attention that women often hang back in rescue situations while men jump into action.  This trend can be attributed to various physiological and psychological differences between the genders, most noticeably  a lack of confidence in women.  Through creating a space where women are learning together from a female instructor, we create a supportive environment in which women develop and push their skills.  There is no hanging back in this course and when it’s done you will feel confident about your skills and ready to jump into action when needed!

Francheska Barreto (see bio at bottom of page)  is our ACA Certified instructor and this course will focus on teaching paddlers how to recognize and avoid common river hazards, execute self-rescue techniques, and to execute simple rescues of distressed paddlers. Fundamental techniques on how to deal with entrapments, pins, and other scenarios will be taught with emphasis on personal safety and commonly used skills. No prior experience is necessary or required for this course.

Course Prerequisites:

Paddlers should be able to competently be able to maneuver in class II rapids. However, all paddlers and non-paddlers interested in Swift Water Rescue will benefit from the class. Participants should be in overall good health and fitness, possess solid swimming ability, and be comfortable swimming in moving current during river drills.

Required Gear: (All participants must provide their own gear/ equipment).

-Personal Floatation Device (PFD)/ or a Rescue PFD
-Throw Rope
-Warm River Clothes (you will be in the water for extended periods of time and will get cold if not dressed properly. A wetsuit or dry suits are suggested)
-Appropriate Footwear (paddling booties, water shoes, etc.)

Optional Gear

-Pin Kit (two 15’-20’ pieces of tubular webbing, four 4’-5’ pieces of kernmantel rope with a 6-8mm diameter, and 4 locking carabineers).
-Boat – We will be at the river, and pick up trips after class are possible.
-Waterproof Camera
-Lunch and snacks are a good idea!

Class Schedule

8:30 a.m. Meet Asheville Adventure Rentals/Girls at Play
Regisration, Meet & Greet
Personal Preparation
Rescue Philosophy
Scene Management
Throw Ropes
Knots – You can prepare yourself for the course by learning how to tie these knots. Visit www.animatedknots.com for visual aids.
-Double Fisherman’s
-Figure 8 Family (Figure 8, Figure 8 Follow Thru, Figure 8 Double Loop, Figure 8 Loop, and Directional Figure 8 )
-Clove Hitch
-Munter Mule

12:30 Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 5 p.m. Swimming/ Throw Ropes

9:00 a.m.  Meet at Ledges Park on the French Broad
Water Hazards and Hydrology
Boat-based Rescue
12:30  p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Scenarios
4 :00 p.m. Closing


June 28 – 29, 2014

Cost:  $250.00

Call 828.333.4482
Email info@watergirlsatplay.com or message us
Click the Buy Now button below to book

Payment Options

Francheska Barreto fell in love with whitewater after spending the summer of 2008 rafting the Ocoee River countless times with friends. That summer she purchased her first kayak and took her first kayak instruction with a local outfitter on the Chattooga River and was immediately hooked.  As Francheska skills progressed so did her passion for the sport, and she began volunteering with local Atlanta paddling clubs by coordinating and leading river trips and roll practices. In 2011, after giving birth to her first child, she obtained her American Canoe Association (ACA) Level 4 Whitewater Kayaking Instructor certification and began teaching for the Georgia Canoeing Association (GCA).  On her quest for continual growth and education, she most recently went to Colorado to obtain her ACA Swift Water Rescue Instructor Certification.

Francheska’s passion for paddling is expressed in her constant desire for continuing learning and growth in kayaking, learning new disciplines in paddling, and passing that knowledge onto others. Francheska spends as much time on the water as possible – hitting her local run, the Metro Section of the Chattahoochee River where she does attainments or just runs the river, and hitting the Ocoee and other neighboring rivers on the weekends.  Besides kayaking, Francheska loves cycling, running, doing yoga, experimenting with photography, being crafty, and spending time with her husband and son.