NOLS River Rescue Guide 2015
by Nate Ostis     Amazon Author Page here.
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Reviews from top river professionals:




Ben Morton

"Not only does Nate Ostis draw from his 20+ years of experience working on the river to share his invaluable insight into river rescue, but he has also sought out the input of numerous seasoned and renowned river professionals.  The combination of years of experience, countless rescue courses, constant reflection on current practices, and a continuous drive to share this information, has led to the publication of this amazing resource."


  • American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer Educator

  • Founder of Precision Paddlesports





Les Bechdel

"NOLS RIVER RESCUE GUIDE comes at the subject of river rescue in a scholarly, organized and effective manner. It must be understood that rescue is an undeniable part of whitewater.  NOLS RIVER RESCUE GUIDE prepares the reader for that moment in time when their actions will  be required;  whether it is a simple rope throw or life-saving entrapment rescue.   Any river runner, amateur or professional, should study this book cover to cover.


NOLS RIVER RESCUE GUIDE educates the reader in an orderly progression with great use of acronyms, graphs, photographs and stories.  If you don't have Nate Ostis along on your trip, be sure to pack his book in your ammo can."  


  • co-author, RIVER RESCUE

  • founder Canyons Inc.







Kent Ford

“Nothing is more important than rescuing a friend, or preventing an accident in the first place. This guide is insightful and important to every river user. Direct and to the point, you will learn the hard skills as well as the human factors necessary for developing quality teamwork on the river.”


  • American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer Educator

  • Founder of Performance Video






Jim Coffey

“Often preparation is the key to successful outcomes when we have something go wrong on the river.  Nate Ostis and the NOLS RIVER RESCUE guide have done a great job presenting real life examples, up to date techniques and critical thinking to help whitewater leaders become BETTER whitewater leaders.  Be prepared, read this book!”

  • Director of Rescue for River Runners & Esprit Whitewater

  • Director of Whitewater Intensive Leadership Development School (WILD)









Sam Fowlkes

“NOLS River Rescue Guide captures and quantifies the essence of advanced critical thinking for the rescuer in river rescue incidents. This comprehensive text provides state of the art coverage of river rescue techniques with details not yet seen in print. The emphasis on prevention as a critical leadership skill underpins the basis of rescue team success. This book is a valuable asset and belongs in every serious boater’s and volunteer and professional rescue team’s emergency library. Highly recommended.”

  • ACA Safety and Rescue Committee Chair

  • American Canoe Association Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Level 5 Instructor Trainer Educator

  • Rescue 3 International Water Rescue Instructor Trainer

  • Higgins and Langley Award recipient 2014






Mike Mather

“This fresh approach to river rescue reads less like a textbook and more like a passionate author wanting to share his experience as well as the collaborative knowledge of his peers. It appeals to to individuals with a desire to study rescue as well as professionals who want to better themselves teaching it. River runners are story tellers by nature and this book tells the story of river rescue which we all need to hear.”


  • founder of Mather Rescue

  • American Canoe Association Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Trainer

  • Rescue 3 International Instructor







Charlie Walbridge

“A solid resource, very complete, packed with good information, photos, and illustrations.


  • Board of Directors, American Whitewater Affiliation

  • former Safety Chairman of the American Canoe Association








John Connelly

“You won’t find a more practical and useful resource for risk management and river rescue preparedness. For all levels and types of whitewater boaters, this well-organized, easy-to-understand guide focuses your mindset and delivers the tools you and your paddling partners require for managing the risks of moving water and to be effective rescuers when inevitable or even unfortunate incidents occur.”


  • Founder Eastern River Expeditions, rafting trips in ME, NY, MD, and WV.

  • Founded rafting operations in Italy and Switzerland.

  • Founded sea kayaking operations in Maine, North Carolina and Florida.

  • President of the Eastern Professional River Outfitters Association

  • Founding board member of the America Outdoors Association.

  • 1991 US Canoe and Kayak Team, World Cup and World Championships.

  • Risk manager and incident investigator for Worldwide Outfitters and Guides Association

  • L.L.Bean:  developed Outdoor Discovery School








Justin Padgett

"This is an excellent resource for river rescue and safety philosophy and practice. Well organized, and simple approach to a complex topic. A great river rescue toolbox, a resource for now and later."


~ Justin Padgett, Paramedic, WEMT

  • American Canoe Association Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Trainer

  • 2015 National Safety and Rescue Curriculum Chair










Sean Bierle

"The NOLS River Rescue Guide is a must-read for any paddler who will be navigating the 'active avalanches' that are rivers.  Nate Ostis combines years of practical experience with a passion to educate in this book."   


  • Founder & Head Teacher at the Alzar School.

  • American Canoe Association Whitewater Kayaking Instructor Trainer









Brian Ward

“A refreshing look into the new and refined techniques of river rescue. This is a motivating reminder of the skills and techniques that are essential to river travel.”


  • Whitewater photographer & founder of B Real Media.

  • Class V expedition kayaker









Marty McDonnell

No matter how absolutely confident you are in your “A” game for calmly managing effective river rescues with minimum risks, you and your team need to re-educate and practice often.   NOLS River Rescue Guide is more than an equipment and technique checklist. It is a definitive and articulate philosophy which will inspire you to develop a risk management culture and achieve successful outcomes in what could otherwise be dangerous chaos.  Educate, practice and communicate.... all systems can fail!  “Are we ready?”  Learn from the mistakes others have made.  This book defines “ready” with well thought out, proactive crisis management procedures that will guide you to a more sound and competent decision-making process.”


  • founder Sierra Mac River Trips. First commercial operators on Cherry Creek.

  • pioneer of California whitewater.