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.

ITRA Instructors in NZL with the box cinch

ITRA Instructors Steve Glassey and @Geoff Bray (New Zealand) were out today taking regional council and their partner organizations through flood safety training, all having their teaching points being recorded on the global ITRA database – at no extra cost to the client. "Its more than just having credible instructors, but having the choice to select what skills the client really needs. ITRA adds value to the client experience" says Steve. After a few hours of theory the day prior, students got to do river swimming, throw bags, river crossings, cinches (box cinch filmed) and strainer drill. #AddValue #ITRA

Posted by International Technical Rescue Association on Monday, 5 November 2018


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).