103: Advanced Sea Kayak Rescues and Safety

Take Your Safety Skills to the Next Level

This 3 hour course builds on the safety and rescue skills learned and practiced in our 101: Sea Kayak Essentials Course.

This course is taught according to the standards outlined in the American Canoe Association’s Level 2 and Level 3 Coastal Kayak curriculum.  Click here for a detailed outline.


3.5 hours

Instructor to Participant Ratio


Skills Taught

Strokes and maneuvers

This course does not cover strokes. Participants should be familiar with basic maneuvers necessary to efficiently execute rescues in open water, including:

  • Emergency stops
  • Draw strokes (in-water and/or sculling draw)
  • Paddling backwards
  • Bracing

Rescue and safety

In this class we will refine rescue skills such as:

  • The T-rescue
  • The paddle-float self rescue
  • Additional rescues, including:
    • Swimmer carries (toggle tow, bow, and back-deck)
    • Contact towing
    • Scoop rescue
    • Eskimo bow rescue

This class also includes training and practice in the use of specialized quick release tow systems used by sea kayakers.

Meeting Location

This course meets at the Boathouse located at Headwaters Park, a beautiful and quiet reservoir located approximately 45 minutes east of Cleveland.   Detailed driving instructions can be found using this link, or by clicking the map below.


Prior Courses

 101: Sea Kayak Essentials or an equivalent experience.  Participants should have working knowledge of basic maneuvers and rescues (e.g., assisted T-rescue;  self-rescues).

Age Limits

14 and over only, please.    Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.   Participants over 16 but under 18 must have a waiver signed by a legal guardian. 

Height and Weight Limits

In order to ensure your comfort and safety, participants should be between 5′ and 6’4″ tall and 95 lbs to 235 lbs.

Non-Discriminatory Essential Eligibility Criteria

In order to participate in this program, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria: 

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position.
  • Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water. 
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other program participants. 
  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion.