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Here Is What Leaders in the Whitewater World Are Saying About R3

On behalf of the ACA, the nation's oldest non-profit paddlesports organization, I would like to recommend the "Rescue for River Runners" video series for the Higgins and Langley "Special Commendation Award" for its contribution to Swiftwater Rescue awareness.

This impressive set of videos exemplifies what is needed to raise the awareness of the public on several significant topics directly related to those who canoe, kayak and raft on our nation's varies waterways.  THis series is well organized, well presented and executed using the most innovative techniques with an emphasis on prevention being a key message that is imparted to the public.  Jim Coffey and crew demonstrate the most effective, "cutting edge", rescue techniques that put new thinking into rescue philosophy.  Overall, this series is on the cutting edge of safety education and rescue.

This video series has been a crucial tool in the training of not only swiftwater rescue instructors, but also for the general public.


Chris Stec

Chief Operating Officer





To Whom it May Concern,

We are proud to endorse Mike McKay and Jim Coffey for their excellent work with the Rescue for River Runner video series. As a manufacturer of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) we see a real need for proper education on swiftwater rescue technique so that more paddlers can learn proper technique and carry the adequate equipment needed to complete effective rescues. The Rescue for River Runner series is ideal as it precisely demonstrates the latest curriculum in the swiftwater rescue world, and provides a free and easy medium for this knowledge to be shared online.

thank you,

Bryan Owen

Astral Brand Manager


To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my sincere conviction that Jim Coffey and Mike McKay (Five2Nine Productions) deserve the Higgins & Langley Special Commendation Award for their contribution to Swiftwater Rescue Awareness. Their excellent work on the R3 Rescue for River Runners film series has heightened swiftwater safety awareness in the paddling community while providing an invaluable tool for teaching rescue basics to paddlers. As a manufacturer and distributor both of paddlesports gear and swiftwater rescue equipment, our company is especially interested in swiftwater rescue awareness. Jim and Mike have provided us with an important tool for raising awareness and engaging our audience in discussions about safety and rescue topics. No other online teaching aid that I’m aware of does this as effectively or efficiently as the R3 series. It represents one of the most significant advancements in whitewater safety education media since the early books of Charlie Walbridge and Slim Ray. We’ve received an extremely positive response from our audience when sharing these videos.

Finally, I’ve worked closely with both Jim and Mike and can attest to their integrity and dedication. They’ve taken on this project not for personal gain, but for the benefit of the whitewater and rescue communities. It would be wonderful to see their efforts recognized by Higgins & Langley.

Thank you for considering Jim and Mike for the award. Please feel free to call if you have any questions. Sincerely, Mark Deming Marketing & Communications NRS, Inc. |

Mark Deming



To Whom It May Concern:

Founded in 1954, American Whitewater is a national organization with a mission "to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely." American Whitewater is a 6,000 person membership organization representing a broad diversity of individual whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and more than 100 local paddling club affiliates across America.

Our organization is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States, and connects the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to achieve the goals within its mission. American Whitewater's River Stewardship Program has developed nationally recognized expertise in river management, restoration of rivers impacted by dams, and conservation of free flowing rivers.

American Whitewater developed the International Standard for rating river difficulty (the Class I through VI rating system) and keeps an inventory of whitewater boating accidents in the American Whitewater Safety Database.

I am writing on behalf of Jim Coffey and Mike McKay and their nomination of the Higgins & Langley "Special Commendation" Award for their contribution to Swiftwater Rescue Awareness. On behalf of American Whitewater members we support Jim Coffey and Mike McKay and their desire to educate paddlers in the skills and tactics of contemporary river rescue.

Please accept this letter in support of the Higgins & Langley "Special Commendation" Award for Jim Coffey and Mike McKay.


Mark Singleton

Executive Director


Whitewater Ontario has learned that Jim Coffey and Mike McKay's online video series "Rescue for River Runners" ( has been nominated for a Higgins & Langley "Special Commendation" Award because of its contribution to Swiftwater Rescue awareness.

The idea of creating a free informational video series fits well with both Jim and Mike's commitment to the paddling community.

 Jim has been a long time promoter of safety and whitewater paddling, as an owner of Esprit, founder of the WILD program, rescue instructor and strong advocate for protecting the rights of recreational paddlers to access rivers.

Mike McKay has created many adventure videos through Five2Nine Productions, including the Currents series, Imagined and ReImagined, with a focus on creating interest in whitewater kayaking as a way to enhance public awareness about the risks threatening many of the world’s rivers.

Jim and Mike have done a great service to the recreational paddling community by volunteering their time to create easily accessible information on safety and rescue techniques for all paddlers. The series is sure to get people thinking more about safety before setting out on a river, and hopefully encourage people to develop their skills and take further rescue training.

One of our core beliefs at Whitewater Ontario is to encourage our members to adhere to the important safety guidelines required in our sport, and doing so will help create a culture of safety in whitewater that will benefit all who participate. This video series works well to help in this goal.

Steve Pomeroy


Whitewater Ontario


To Whom It May Concern:

The Rescue For River Runners (R3) series has come to the attention of the International Rafting Federation (IRF) and has received great praise amongst our Instructors and Guides. It is seen as an excellent tool to educate and train river users in the correct and safer ways of running rivers. This series is going to be used by the IRF’s Guide Training & Education section as an awareness/training resource for its membership. Membership includes raft guides and instructors, paddlers and racers from over 55 countries as well the national rafting federations of over 40 countries.

The IRF is supportive of the R3 video project moving forward and we have been impressed by IRF Instructor Jim Coffey’s knowledge, skill and presentation and the high quality of Mike McKay’s camera and editing skills.

We wish the series continued success in the future and are appreciative of the efforts made to get the message about river rescue/safety out to the paddling public.

We applaud their success and support their efforts.

Yours sincerely,

Gaspar Goncz (IRF Head Guide Training & Education)


 To Whom It May Concern:

 Rescue for River Runners is an important provider of critical information for keeping kayakers safe.   This series is the first time that we have seen this information so readily available online.

I highly recommend this series for the Higgins & Langley  "Special Commendation" Award.  


Eric Jackson


Dear Jim,

I finally got hold of a computer with sound and watched your videos. The photography is quite stunning and the level of paddling is impressive. The videos themselves give paddlers a good introduction to the wide range of rescue skills useful to whitewater paddlers in the short video format that's so popular today.

Hopefully it will inspire more people to take courses in swiftwater rescue.  Congratulations on a job well done! I hope we get an opportunity to work together someday.


Charlie Walbridge

AW Board Member & Accident Database Manager















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