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Level 3

Level 3 In Water Rescue


Those who need to be able to operate safely in open water, risk assess a water environment and who have a greater likelihood of the need for a swim rescue, beyond standing depth. This may apply to those with supervisory responsibility for a group engaging in programmed activities (under controlled conditions) with the intention to enter deep water. Level 3 ‘In-Water Rescue’ is for programmed activities that would not be expected to carry a high risk and where it would be appropriate to have an `in-water’ rescue capability.


A leader with responsibility for a group who will be swimming in known waters (beyond standing depth) under controlled conditions or where there is a risk that a member of a group may enter deeper water and need assistance.

The pre-requisites

Candidates are required to be water confident and be able to complete a continuous swim of 100m on their front and 100m on their back. In addition, candidates should be able to surface dive and tread water for 2 minutes.

Length of course

4 Guided learning hours.

Learning Outcomes

Basic principles and practice of emergency response and rescue skills in deeper water. On completion of Level 3 candidates will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate and have a clear knowledge of hand and whistle signals
  • Show competence in different rescue techniques and where appropriate improvise with available equipment
  • Understand the principles of rescuer safety
  • Demonstrate entering and exiting water safely
  • Swim 30m and perform a non-contact tow of a conscious casualty, land the casualty with assistance & provide aftercare
  • Swim 15m and demonstrate a contact tow of an unconscious casualty back to shore and provide basic life support
  • Perform a surface dive to a maximum of 1.5m
  • Understand the principles of stabilisation of a casualty with suspected spinal injury
  • Perform two life saving defences

Above information was provided by the RLSS.