SAFER Rescues

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When an incident occurs the person who see first it shouts STOP. The group performs the following actions:

  • Turn kayaks to face elements (Waves, Wind, Tide)
  • Move to a safe location (if required)
  • Check towlines can be deployed easily
  • Perform own personal risk assessment looking at the incident


  • Own Safety as per  STOP
  • Group safe
  • Casualty Pro active or in active (Casualty or Victim)

Individual members:

  • Maintain position
  • Assist if required
  • Continue own personal risk assessment STOP
  • Assess own rescue strategy if tasked to assist
  • Maintain a dynamic space 


  • Starts to work towards a rescue (Positive)


  • Inactive, injured, panicking, inability to perform skills effectively (Negative)


  • Formulates rescue strategy
  • Delegate members tasks
  • Multi task to maximise speed
  • Contact emergency services - An unconscious casualty is always a Mayday! Serious are Pan-Pan
  • Consider all factors by using the SHEETS pneumonic
  • Short term goal
  • Long Term Goal
  • Plan B?


  • The Leader is the incident manager and the group members are tools in the leaders toolbox.
  • Execute plan
  • Use the correct delegation
  • Rescue services called at earliest opportunity
  • Harness concurrent activities to speed up process
  • The leader should only get involved in the actual practical rescue if group member's abilities do not match environment/rescue situation 
  • If "hands on" then must ensure:
    • the group are in safe position
    • Nominate control of group
    • Continue line of sight if possible

Individual members:

  • Look to leader and incident
  • Use appropriate rescue technique if delegated to perform the rescue
  • If unable to perform effectively communicate this to leader - re-delegate and/or re-assess 

During Incident:

  • Continue with assessment in case better opportunities present themselves - What if?
  • Carry out a Review process with group
    • Ascertain members feelings:
      • Physical
      • Mental - Affects of stress

After the Incident (in a safe environment):

  • Review process with group 
    • Ascertain members feelings:
      • Physical
      • Mental - Affects of stress
  • Leaders obligations continue after being off the water.
    • Affects of stress
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