BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Courses

The Foundation Safety and Rescue (FSR) formally the Canoe Safety Test is for all paddlers irrespective of craft and is the pre-requisite for attendance at a coach training course. The main objective is to instruct basic safety and rescue skills that can be applied in a sheltered water environment.On completing the course you will be able to rescue swimmers in a variety of different boats, using several different techniques and deal with basic rescue scenarios.

Course Aim

The course aims to provide the student with the key safety and rescue skills required to operate safely in a sheltered water environment and to be able to deal with common emergencies.

The course has three purposes:

  • To provide the paddler with the necessary skills to enable them to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
  • To provide the paddler with the appropriate rescue skills, to enable them to help themselves and/or others in difficulty.
  • A prerequisite for those who wish to become BCU / UKCC Coaches

This is a fun, practical, get wet course. It is useful for anyone who takes part in paddling on flat water even if they do not intend to progress through the coaching scheme.

What's in the course?

This one day course is designed for paddlers and coaches irrespective of their chosen craft either. The course will cover the following topics:

  • Group management and communication.
  • Safety and rescue protocols.
  • Bank based rescue techniques.
  • Boat based rescue techniques.
  • Self rescue techniques.
  • Rescuing an unconscious or entrapped paddler.
  • Advice and familiarization with safety equipment and its use.


Assessment of this course is continues. As you complete each training unit you will need to show the necessary level of competence for each skill before successful completion of the course.

What experience do I need?

  • You should be a competent paddler before attending this course, holding the BCU 1* or equivalent experience (equal to several days paddling).
  • Be able to swim in normal paddlesport clothing suitable for the prevailing conditions.
  • Be age 14 years or over.

What equipment do I need?

The following is a list of equipment recommend for the course

  • Tow line OR Tow system
  • Throwline
  • Rescue knife
  • Sling
  • Whistle

You will be expected to provide your own craft, buoyancy aid, paddle and helmet. Hot and cold drinks will be provided, bring your own lunch / snacks.

Coach to Paddler Ratio

Maximum coach to paddler ratio 1:6 and requires a minimum of 2 persons for the course to run.


Further details of the BCU FSR can be found at:

Contact Us For Booking

Course Dates and Venues

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