Swift Water Rescue I

May 20-22, 2022

Thunder Rock Campground

4400 US-64,  Copper Hill, TN 37317

Swift Water Rescue I

June 3-5, 2022

Thunder Rock Campground

4400 US-64,  Copper Hill, TN 37317

Swift Water Rescue I

June 17-19, 2022

Thunder Rock Campground

4400 US-64,  Copper Hill, TN 37317

Click Below for Swiftwater Rescue I Course Itinerary & Required Equipment/Knots List

Swift Water Rescue I


Swift Water Rescue I provides students with instruction in swift water dynamics, self-rescue/swimming techniques, ropes and knots, rescue equipment, rescue wading techniques, and technical rope rigging in swift water environments. This course is 20 contact hours of training that is EXTREMELY PHYSICALLY DEMANDING. It is recommended that the student be comfortable in the water, should have good swimming ability, and should be in good physical condition.  These course meets the applicable NFPA Operations/Level I objectives.


Course Length: 20 hours

CEHs: 10



Must show proof of Swift Water Rescue Awareness Course completion within 12 mos. prior to SWR 1 course attendance. You will not be allowed to enter the SWR 1 Course until you have completed the Swift Water Rescue Awareness Course. No exceptions.

Must know the following knots: Figure Eight, Figure Eight on a Bight, Figure Eight Follow Through, Double Fisherman's Knot, Prusik Knot, Alpine Butterfly Knot, Water Knot. Please visit animated knots for instruction/practice.


Required PPE:

PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE – Swift Water Rescue Type V or Type III/V hybrid with a quick-release tether belt.


HELMET - Water Rescue Helmet or Lightweight Technical Rescue Helmet. Must drain water and must have a 4-point chin strap.


GLOVES- Leather palms must stay on when swimming. Whitewater gloves, competition water ski gloves or mechanics gloves with Velcro wrist straps are acceptable. 


FOOTWEAR - River work boots are preferred. No open-toed river sandals can be worn unless worn over dive boots. Dive boots do not provide adequate sole thickness or ankle support. Lace-up sneakers may be worn as a last resort. Socks are preferred but avoid cotton socks. 


THERMAL PROTECTION - Two-piece Farmer John style wetsuits, full-body water rescue, or dive-rescue wetsuits are are acceptable but wetsuit thickness should not exceed 3.0-3.5 mil.  Students wearing thick dive wetsuits or drysuits will be vulnerable to heat stress so these are discouraged. Artificial fabric t-shirts or paddling undershirts are recommended as a base layer under the wetsuit.  Whitewater splash tops or dry tops may be worn over a Farmer John wetsuit. Cotton underclothing is discouraged. 


ACCESSORIES - Two or more locking aluminum carabiners and a 7-foot length of 1-inch nylon webbing or 7 mm Prusik cord. 


THROW BAG - Each student should bring a swift water rescue throw bag containing at least 55-70 feet of water rescue throw rope. 70-foot rope bags are preferred. 


PERSONAL ITEMS - Students must provide their own food water and any other desired non-alcoholic drinks along with coolers and ice. Electrical service is not available at Thunder Rock. Students should also bring their own sunblock personal medications raincoat etc. 


PROHIBITED ITEMS - Students are prohibited from wearing knives or whistles in the river. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited by U.S. Forest Service regulations at the Thunder Rock Campground or anywhere else in the Cherokee National Forest. The instructors are in charge at all times. If a student becomes ill injured exhausted or otherwise unable to complete a required course element the student may be restricted from further activities by the Chief Instructor after consulting with the student’s team instructor and/or medical personnel.



TARS Full Unit Member: $100 per student

TARS Associate Member: $165 per student

Non-TARS Member: $215 per student



Lodging is the responsibility of the student



Note: All registrations received up to two weeks prior to the start date of the class will be at the normal pricing. Any registration received during the period two-week period prior to the start date of the course will incur an additional $20 processing fee regardless of member, associate member, or non-member registration.