Flat-Water Skills

Earlier this month the TasTAFE Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students engaged in teaching and instruction of their flat-water skills to Kingston High School Year 9 students.  The teachings took place on the Huon River at Huonville Esplanade.  The student’s instruction was supervised by TasTAFE instructors, Nate Welsh and Matt Smith.

The Kingston High Students where able to learn to be comfortable in the kayaks as well as learn a number of strokes.  The students were also entertained by engaging in a number of games, including ‘bulrush’ and ‘kayak polo’.

The weather behaved itself for most of the day with a slight shower in the afternoon.  TasTAFE students were able to counteract the current in the river by starting kayak polo upstream near the bridge and drifted down to the jetty as they played.

Fun was had by all as some of the keen students attempted to Eskimo roll at the end of the day whilst others students battled to simply keep the boats going straight in the water.  This provided TasTAFE students ample opportunity to specifically target technique and practice in aiding struggling students.


White Water Rescue


On Friday the 2nd of September the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation crew set off north for the White Water Rescue Short Course running at the North Esk Memorial Hall over two and a half days.

Arriving at the hall just after 11 am, and running the course for 27 participants we had our work cut out for us.  Between unpacking gear, getting set up, and people arriving there wasn’t much time spent relaxing.

After everything was set up and everyone had arrived, we got underway with our first theory session and then into some dry land throw bag practice to test out people’s power and accuracy before we moved into the dynamic white water.  We headed down to Corra Linn on the North Esk where our practical sessions were taking place.  Starting out with some river crossings, river swimming and live water throw bagging we soon warmed up in the cold water.  After many rescued swimmers, we headed back to the hall for some dinner and more theory.

Saturday morning arrived and into the theory we dove, learning about river hydrology.  After that was covered, we did some dry land foot entrapment rescues before lunch.  Once again heading to Corra Linn after lunch for some practical time in the water.  This time we had a crack at some harder river swimming, swimming over strainers and real-time foot entrapment rescues.  Once everyone was feeling more confident in the white water we once again headed back, this time to do some dry land mechanical advantage systems for stuck rafts by the light of our head torches.  Dinner was welcomed before another theory session followed by bed time.

Another early morning on Sunday, we learned about how to deal with stubborn kayaks that wedge themselves between rocks.  This time we headed to the river before lunch where the instructors set up three stations.  First was a tethered swim, second a tensioned diagonal rope used to cross a river and third was a raft wrapped around a rock with some stranded rafters.  Using the knowledge we had learned over the previous days, we rotated through the stations and sorted out each situation with confidence.

Once we finished up in the water, we had lunch and our written assessment. Upon completion goodbyes and thanks were said to all involved, and another TasTAFE short course was successfully delivered.

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