DEFRA 1 Working Near Water

DEFRA 1 Working Near Water


This is a 1 day course which aims to give a general awareness of working on or around water. Primarily aimed at simple environments where a level of understanding and respect is still required along with general rescue techniques, it also takes a look at features and hazards that can be found in more extreme environments such as floods and tidal courses, it takes a practical look at the force of fast moving water on our white-water course and a number of the safety rescue considerations involved in these situations. The course is split into 2 sections – a morning classroom session followed by an afternoon practical session.


  • Ideal for staff involved with ground works on or around rivers or canals.
  • Those involved in the maintenance / repair of water based structures, for example bridges, locks, sluice gates.
  • Working on or around boats, barges, dredging.
  • Although primarily aimed at the corporate market, this course is also ideal for individuals or clubs involved with water activities, like rowing, canoeing etc.

 Course Content

The course syllabus shown below, consists of several core elements which are fundamental to the overall course integrity, however if needed, the programme can be modified in order to make it more applicable to your working environment. 


  • Legislation and responsibilities
  • Paperwork and risk assessments
  • Emergency procedures & casualty care
  • Personal equipment
  • Buoyancy Aids & Lifejackets
  • Rescue equipment and hierarchy
  • Locks and sluices
  • Water hydrology, features and hazards
  • Immersion injuries 


  • Throw bag practice
  • Flat water rescues, water to bank, water to boat (casualty conscious / unconscious)
  • Self Rescue
  • Wading
  • White water skills and rescues

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