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American Red Cross Small Craft Rescue


  • The Small Craft Rescue course is to provide individuals such as camp personnel and trip leaders with information and skills necessary to prevent, recognize, and respond to small craft emergencies. 

  • This course will also prepare individuals for small craft emergencies by teaching them how to protect themselves while assisting others. 


  • 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.


  • Float or tread water for 1 minute without a lifejacket

  • Swim any stroke for 25 yards without a lifejacket

  • Swim any stroke for 25 yards while wearing a lifejacket

  • Demonstrate basic boat handling skills. 

Course Objectives

  • Learn to recognize, prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies

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

  • Learn how to prevent small craft accidents, injuries and fatalities 

  • Understand different types of open water environments and their potential hazards

  • Understand the responsibilities of small craft trip planning, supervision and emergency preparation

  • Understand and perform  self-rescue skills for aquatic injuries

  • Provide assistance to others using non-swimming rescues

  • Perform proper techniques to care for a possible head, neck or back injury

  • Learn how to rescue yourself and others when supervising aquatic crafting activities

Course Length

  • Up to 8 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 Small Craft Rescue certification valid for 3 years

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