Swiftwater Rescue Training

Charlie Walbridge is an American Canoe Association Instructor-Trainer Educator for swiftwater rescue.

Charlie Walbridge Teaching

Charlie Walbridge teaching a swiftwater instructor trainer course on the Youghiogheny River.

He teaches one and two-day courses designed for canoe clubs, outfitters, and emergency responders. The program is designed to make people more comfortable in the water so they can self-rescue more effectively and work on boat pins and other situations with confidence. The prerequisite is intermediate paddling skills and strong swimming ability. Charlie’s course outline is available, and you can consult the official course outline at the ACA’s web site www.acanet.org.

Charlie is authorized to certify instructors.

He runs ACA Instructor Certification Course that last four days. The first two days are considered the Instructor Development Workshop (IDW), a fast-paced run-through of the course with an emphasis on how to teach the program. The second two days will be the Instructor Candidate Exam (ICE) when the instructor candidates teach a portion of the course. The prerequisite is an ACA two-day Swiftwater Rescue Course or equivalent training from programs run by outfitters, clubs, or first responders. Check out Charlie’s page of instructor notes.


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Charlie Walbridge

Charlie Walbridge Teaching Swiftwater Rescue Course on Cheat River.

It’s also possible to earn an instructor rating by co-teaching. You would need to assist for a minimum of two two-day courses. You would probably observe the first course, then actively co-teach in the second.  Properly qualified ACA instructors in related disciplines (whitewater kayak or canoe) can challenge the course by co-teaching a single two-day program. Anyone interested in co-teaching can contact Charlie directly. Please provide an outline of your experience in the field.


Swiftwater Rescue Class Schedule

Materials and Articles of Importance

Download the ACA Waiver

Swiftwater Rescue Course Outline

The Dynamics of Pinning Article

Near Miss on the Watauga


Contact me for a Swftwater Rescue Clinic by email or phone 1-304-698-7088

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Pay for “Open” classes online to make it easier on Charlie and give you more time for the class rather than spending time talking about money.

Charlie Walbridge Swiftwater Rescue on the Cheat River 11



 If you are paying individually for an “Open” class, use this method of payment please.