Ben with throw line at the ready. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
One of the greatest hazards in the outdoors is water.
You can be near powerful water when hiking through wild country and you may even have to cross rivers. When you make journeys by canoe an understanding of the power of water is paramount.
At Frontier Bushcraft we are committed to the highest standards of safety - both for our clients and our staff.
One of the areas of safety training we undertake is white water safety and rescue.
In what was a sunny yet chilly couple of days in North Wales, some of the Frontier Bushcraft team recently undertook a comprehensive and no-nonsense course with Ray Goodwin
We began with techniques for crossing or exiting moving water, progressing through various methods for rescuing individuals from white water.
Striking out across a jet of moving water. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
Ben crossing river on diagonal line using the flow of water to propel him. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
James receives a throw line in the middle of the rapids. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
Paul grabbing Ben in whitewater. Photo: Ray Goodwin.
The Frontier Bushcraft team ready for a livebait rescue. Photo: Ray Goodwin.
Given Frontier Bushcraft's activities in canoeing and canoe expeditions
, we also undertook moving water training specific to open boats - rescuing both paddlers and their craft.
Uprighting a canoe after a capsize. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
Ray Goodwin setting up z-drag pulley system. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
Not only was it great to be learning and refreshing skills, this type of training also reinforces more general attitudes towards risk assessment, incident management and communication. Frontier Bushcraft expects of its outdoor leaders quick thinking and decisive action when required. Planning, risk assessment, safety, first-aid and related training therefore form a central part of our staff education programme.
Given the serious nature of the course and no shortage of cold water, frosty mornings, heavy rapids and large rocks, we all thoroughly enjoyed spending the best part of two days up to our necks in the River Dee. Despite Ben's curiosity about stoppers causing Ray to suggest we should all experience one first-hand, the weekend's training proved to further cement our team spirit.
James and Ben undertaking a rescue scenario. Photo: Ray Goodwin.
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Paul Kirtley is owner and Chief Instructor of Frontier Bushcraft. He has had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and gains great satisfaction from helping others enjoy it too. Paul writes the UK's leading bushcraft blog
as well as for various publications including Bushcraft and Survival Skills Magazine.