Rescue 3 Award

Aim: To emphasise the hazards and increased degree of risk which may be encountered in body contact rescues of rescue skills by retraining.


  • Minimum age of 14 years on date of assessment.
  • Rescue 2 award.

Award: Certificate

Dress: Swimsuit / Wetsuit, shirt, shoes, and trousers

Validity: 2 years

Ratio – Recommended examination ratio of 10:1.


  • Goggles may not be used in full contact rescues.

Test Items

  1. BLS3 (Skills and Theory)
  2. Oral Test:
    • Personal Safety
    • Hazards in open water situations
    • Principles of simple rescue
    • Correct follow up procedures
    • Recognition of emergency situations
    • Non-contact swimming rescues
    • Personal contact rescues
    • Spinal injuries
    • Principles of systematic search patterns
  3. Timed Swim:
    • 50m swim and 50m carry to be completed in under 4 minutes.
  4. Demonstrate at least 2 items from Rescue 2.
  5. Double Rescue involving a 50 metre
    continuous head up approach with a rescue
    tube or canbuoy and a ringbuoy to 2 drowning
    subjects. Pass the ringbuoy to one subject
    and rescue tube/canbuoy to the other. Tow
    one subject 50 metres while encouraging the
    other back to safety
    Disrobe before proceeding to next test item.

  6. Show ability to effect a release from each of
    the following grips while maintaining contact
    and control over subject and carry 10 metres.
    (a) Block and Parry (failed defensive
    (b) Front double-arm neck hold.
  7. Approach 25m to a distressed swimmer with a
    rescue tube, clip on rescue tube and swim
    25m back to safety towing the distressed
  8. Ability to carry out any of the three techniques for stabilising a spinal injury victim in the water.


  1. As per CFR Handbook.
    • As per Rescue Skills Manual.
    • Understanding the theory of contact rescues.
    • To include theory and recognition of spinal injury management in water.
  2. None.
  3. Should include technique only and minimum distance.
  4. Ability to recognise and assess the danger.
    Demonstrate use of voice contact and rescue
    aids while returning in a safe manner
  5. Mini incidents to simulate situations using
    realistic grips. Rescuer may submerge subject
    to break contact. 
  6. Simulated rescue using mini scenarios.
    Checking the safety of the distressed
    swimmer at regular intervals is essential. 
  7. A close look at the techniques in isolation excluding any complications.

N.B. Water test items must be done in the order as specified.