Kudos to the ACA

My interactions with the American Canoe Association have not always been 100% positive but my most recent one was.

Last weekend I attended the ACA Swiftwater Rescue Conference on the Tuckaseegee River in western North Carolina and it was outstanding IMO.

This was the first conference of this type for the ACA. It was not a certifying clinic although a number of participants had completed swiftwater safety and rescue training with the ACA and were using the Conference to renew their credentials.

The instructors included many of the big names in swiftwater rescue including Charlie Walbridge, Les Bechdel and Slim Ray. The heart of the conference was 4 separate on/in water sessions, each several hours long, covering advanced swimming and wading techniques, entrapment extraction, boat unpinning, mechanical advantage systems, advance throw rope techniques, Telfer lowers, rope assisted wading, zip line transits, and in field and in water treatment of hypothermia and spinal injuries. The event lasted three days, included an excellent banquet dinner, and cost only $150.

The ACA will probably hold another such conference in a couple of years. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in swiftwater rescue.

Agree 100%
I attended as well - incredible event. Camping (although cold) was also only $5 per night. Very well done event - in addition to the guys who literally wrote the books, they also brought in the young guns who are pushing swiftwater rescue forward: Mike Mather, Aaron Peeler, Justin Padgett, Jim Coffey among others. Focus is on fast, decisive and simple; recognizing that paddlers are willing to take a greater level of risk in their efforts to save their paddling partners and others in the boating community.

I too was very impressed with Mike Mather, Justin Padgett, Jim Coffey, and Aaron Peeler as well as Walter Felton, whom I had not met before) and Martin Brue (sp) (a.k.a. the Great Gonzo on cboats.net) whom I had met before.