Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

R3 - Rescue for River Runners

R3 is designed to be new and informative River Running Resource site.  It hosts and archives a series of  rescue videos designed specifically for paddlers.  The video series have been shot in a variety of exotic locations including Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico and the USA.  The videos are hosted by reknown paddler and rescue Instructor Jim Coffey (Esprit) and filmed by award winning videographer Mike McKay (five2nine).

R3 is also a platform for Rescue training for River Runners. Courses have been designed to be paddler specific teaching techniques that are field expedient, efficient and fast.  

Courses are certified by Rescue 3 International and designed through collaberation with Esprit, Raven Rescue, Mather Rescue and Sierra Rescue.

Rescue 3 Cerification is recognized worldwide as the leader in Whitewater Rescue Training.  Course participants also receive recognition of participation through the ACA (American Canoe Association).

Our Instructors:

Jim Coffey

Fast Facts:

Whitewater Rescue Instructor,
Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician,
Whitewater Professional (Rafting/Canoeing/Kayaking)
Elite/Competitive Paddler (Rafting/Canoeing/Kayaking)
Certified Instructor (Rescue/First Aid/Rafting/Canoeing/Kayaking)

Hometown: Davidson, Pontiac County, QC

Favourite rivers: The Ottawa, Kipawa, Gwydir (Australia), Pozo Azul (Costa Rica) Alsaseca, Rio de Oro (Mexico)

Places Traveled: "I have worked in 35 different countries… all of which are amazing in their own way." 



Jim has worked in the whitewater industry for over 30 years. His career started as a “summer camp brat” paddling open canoes on expeditions in Ontario, Quebec and the Northwest Territories of Canada.

He subsequently started to race both slalom and downriver C1 and C2 and competed on both a national and international level.

Racing led to working as a whitewater rafting guide affording time and a place to train near world class whitewater. This prompted a move to the Ottawa River valley.

Upon taking a year off of university Jim hit the road looking for fame and fortune as a “whitewater specialist” adventure travel guide. Although fortune remains elusive Jim has worked in the Whitewater Industry full time since 1984. His success has allowed him to work on many of the world’s greatest rivers in Canada, the U.S.A, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India and Nepal.  He captained the Canadian Rafting team to 5 top 10 finishes at the World Rafting Champonships.

In 1990 Jim brought the Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue program to Eastern Canada and was trained as an instructor by Rescue 3 founder Jim Segerstrom. In 1992 Jim started teaching classes for Rescue 3 in Eastern Canada and in 2010 started a strategic alliance with Raven Rescue as a specialist in providing training courses for the recreational and professional paddlesports industry. Jim teaches contract courses worldwide particularly in Mexico and throughout Latin America where he resides during the winter months. Jim is also an accredited instructor with the American Canoeing association (ACA), a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Higgins and Langley Award for Excellence in Swiftwater Rescue.

Jim is the Founder and Director of the award winning whitewater adventure travel company Esprit Whitewater Worldwide. Esprit is a respected industry leader well known for its rafting, canoeing and kayaking operations in Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. Esprit took top honours in National Geographic's rating of whitewater outfitters worldwide.

Jim is the Founder, Director and Lead Instructor of the Whitewater Intensive Leadership Development School (W.I.L.D.) known as the world’s most comprehensive whitewater guide training program. W.I.L.D specializes in training participants in Swiftwater Rescue, Wilderness First Aid, Rafting, Canoeing, Kayaking, Riverboarding, Adventure Leadership and Wilderness Ethics.

Apart from his extensive professional experience, Jim is recognized as an elite paddler being filmed for a variety of canoeing “first descents”. He has recently been featured in both the Canoe Movie and Canoe Movie 2 Uncharted Waters.

There are few whitewater specialists that can combine the extensive experience that Jim has accumulated across the whitewater disciplines of rafting, canoeing, kayaking and whitewater rescue and possess the ability to teach them in a fun, secure and engaging manner.

His newest project Rescue for River Runners (R3) is a collaboration with acclaimed whitewater videographer Mike McKay of Five2Nine productions. Together their goal is to create a series of short videos focusing on rescue “techniques, tips and tricks” to help whitewater paddlers become better rescuers.

Visit Jim’s Blog

"5 Good Minutes" by Canoe & Kayak Magazine

The Climate Project Canada

View Jim’s Resume


Mike McKay

Fast Facts:
Whitewater Video Guru
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Favourite Rivers: The Alseseca, The Taureau, The Little White Salmon, The Green, The Raquette, The Neilson, and more to come.

Places Traveled: Norway, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and more.



Since founding Five2Nine Productions ( in 2009, Mike McKay has been involved in a number of facets of paddling media.

His brainchild, CURRENTS webTV has been viewed globally and featured in a number of outlets including Kayak Session Magazine, Bomb Flow TV, Canoe Kayak Magazine, Tribe Rider and many more. CURRENTS has been a method of educating a broader audience of the stories that surround the rivers and paddlers of the world. Over the 18+ episodes CURRENTS Five2Nine has explored river conservation initiatives, threats to rivers, paddling events, solar power, and many more.

As well, Five2Nine is responsible for the action based ‘Imagined’ series of whitewater kayak action. This series has been viewed online 60,000+ times all over the world.

Along with video production, Mike has been a part of many fundraising and volunteer initiatives including work with American Whitewater, Whitewater Ontario, First Descents, and the Ottawa Riverkeeper.

As an athlete, Mike paddles for Bomber Gear, Jackson Kayak, REVO Sunglasses, & Goal Zero. As well, he is part of the Special OPS paddling team in Ottawa Ontario.

Mike has been a part of kayaking expeditions in many countries and has brought the knowledge and skill of remote paddling to the ‘R3: Rescue for River Runners’ series.

Visit Mike's Blog

Stories From the River by Canoe & Kayak Magazine