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  • Basic Water Rescue provides those who participate in aquatic activities or work around water with the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies.


  • Ideal course for public safety personnel, camp personnel and day trip leaders, daycare workers, school teachers, aquatic fitness instructors, aquatic therapists, parents, foster care and adoptive parents, and the general public.

  • For new students or those who need to renew their certification.


  • Participants must be comfortable in chest-deep water.

Course Objectives

  • Learn water safety guidelines for activities in, on or around the water.

  • Recognize the characteristic behaviors of someone who needs help in the water.

  • Define an emergency action plan and describe how to develop an emergency action plan.

  • Describe how to trap air in clothing for buoyancy as a means of self-rescue when not wearing a life jacket.

  • Describe two positions used for floating in cold water while wearing a life jacket.

  • Explain how to perform an ice self-rescue and how to help someone who has fallen through the ice.

  • Describe actions to take to prevent or delay hypothermia.

  • Describe how to care for someone having a seizure in the water.

  • Demonstrate the HELP and huddle positions.

  • Demonstrate two ways to perform a reaching assist.

  • Demonstrate a throwing assist using two different pieces of equipment.

  • Demonstrate a wading assist with equipment.

  • Demonstrate the beach drag and walking assist.

  • Demonstrate two ways to stabilize a victim’s head, neck and spine in the water.

Course Length

  • Up to 4 hrs

Certification Requirements

  • Attend and participate in all class sessions.

  • Demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities.

  • Correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions in the final written exam (20 out of 25 questions).


  • American Red Cross Basic Water Rescue certification valid for 3 years

American Red Cross Basic Water Rescue

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