PSI pioneering swiftwater techniques

We should all know that staying dry is the aim of any swiftwater first responder. So being able to effect shored based rescue is a critical skill. Learn how.

Here’s how you  stabilise a vehicle from the shore with just a couple of throwbags and a snag plate.

Swiftwater vehicle rescue is a highly hazardous task. So first of all, this video is not a substitute for practical training delivered by qualified instructors.

This method you can quickly stabilise a vehicle in flowing water, especially those vehicles that are resting on hard surfaces prone to becoming unstable. Once the stabilisation line is in, it can be used to send out protective equipment to the vehicle occupants, as well as providing a zip line for technician level operators to access the vehicle (who can then throw a line back to the shore downstream to create an exit zip line).


With the vehicle stabilised, occupants depending on the circumstance could be directed to get on top of the vehicle’s roof where they can wait safely or be rescued using another shore based method – the box cinch. Again, no responder has to go into the water.


Various studies show that vehicles are involved in about 25-50% of flood rescues. So swiftwater practitioners must be competent in vehicle rescues and that can only come from realistic training conditions – pretending a rock in the river is a car is not the answer. So contact us today we deliver some of the world’s leading training in vehicle rescue and have both artificial (Vector Wero, Auckland) and natural (Mangahao Whitewater Park) training sites that offer their own unique challenges and experiences.

We also can provide instructor training and practitioner assessment for ITRA Swiftwater Vehicle Rescue (S3V).