Swiftwater Rescue

The PGSAR Swiftwater Rescue team is trained to perform water rescues including still water and river rescue.  

Swift water rescue takes specialized training which members may take on after ground search training. Regular practice in our local rivers is necessary to remain familiar with the water systems and the ever-changing list of hazards that can be found on a river. We maintain a team of highly skilled water rescue technicians that work together as a team to rescue from rivers and lakes in the surrounding Prince George area.   

Swiftwater rescue members receive specialized training on protective gear, communication, how to effectively swim in rivers, using rope systems in the water, throw-bagging subjects, and strategies for rescuing someone out of moving water. Specialized gear is needed for swiftwater rescue. Rescuers wear a dry suit, gloves, helmet, PFD, and footwear designed for a swift water environment. Inflatable kayaks are used to travel downstream or cross a river and can be used to transport people. Specialized rope rescue equipment is used to facilitate river crossings and subject recovery. Ropes are designed to float and are brightly coloured to be visible in the water. Members carry pieces of the rope systems in their PFDs to make swimming easier and gear accessible when out on the water.  

Because swiftwater rescue often involves fast-moving water, there are many risks involved. Because of this, strong communication and leadership skills are required of team members.