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There is a working group working to develop nationally standardized curriculum for the Water Survival emergency services specialty qualification listed in CAPR 60-3.  Most coastal wings already had some baseline training, but there has been considerable variation in the requirements.  We expect there to be a classroom training in a ground school format as well as a swim test.  Until more formal requirements are published on an SQTR, wings should ensure their personnel are provided training as outlined below in order to be sure they are qualified properly:


Water Survival Classroom Training/Ground School

The minimum classroom instruction for the NHQ approved aircrew water survival course shall consist of:

·       Participants will review the Overwater Operations portion of the NHQ produced video titled “ Civil Air Patrol Mountain & Overwater Operations”. Every wing should have received a copy of this video, but if it is damaged or needs to otherwise be replaced please contact HQ CAP/DOV.  

·       A practical demonstration of the use and testing procedures (to verify validity and proper operation) of the BRAVO type personal flotation device (PFD) used in CAP Overwater operations.

·       A discussion on the use of the various emergency-signaling devices available for use in CAP Overwater operations including rescue streamers, types of pyrotechnic flares, etc.

·       Demonstration of the procedures used to orientate all flight crewmembers on the location of aircraft EMERGENCY exits for each crew position, regardless of visibility or aircraft position (underwater, dark, inverted aircraft).

·       Any other demonstration or discussion of emergency procedures as the course instructor determines are required based on local conditions, including the technique to turn over a raft that lies inverted in the water.


Swim Test

The swim test requirements for all CAP flight crews engaged in CAP Overwater operations shall consist of the following minimum requirements:

·       All swim tests shall be conducted wearing a military flight coverall uniform or the equivalent clothing, and a pair of soft soled shoes (Athletic shoes recommended). A bathing suit or shorts and T-shirt are not approved clothing as personnel need to learn that the PFDs work and demonstrate they can get into the raft wearing basically what they would be wearing when they are flying. 

·       Crewmembers will don and orally inflate the PFD to the maximum inflation level. Crewmembers will assist each other to insure proper wearing and adjustment of the PFD. The instructor will verify that the PFD is properly worn and inflated.

·       Crewmembers shall enter the swimming pool by jumping into the deep end from the pool wall and verify that the inflated PFD properly brings the crewmember to the water surface with the swimmers head above water.   Life guards and/or safety swimmers must be available.

·       Each swim test cycle can consist of up to 3 members. Crew members shall swim a minimum of 200 yds and at the conclusion of the swim must successfully be able to show proper technique to board an inflated life raft in the deep end of the pool. Note: a standard Olympic size pool is 50 meters in length. The raft shall be inverted and stationed in the deep end of the pool. The crew must demonstrate the proper technique to turn over an inverted raft and then board the raft. Crewmembers may find it easier to partially deflate the PFD while conducting the swim and raft-boarding test. There is no time limit on completing this test providing that the crew members does not rest by hanging on to the pool side walls or any other object in the pool. Crewmembers may hang on to the straps along the side of the raft while waiting their turn to board the raft. Crewmembers may assist each other aboard the raft at the discretion of the course instructor.

·       At the conclusion of each swim cycle the raft shall be inverted for the next test cycle.

The course instructor shall record the names, CAP unit and CAP member number for all crewmembers who satisfactory complete the course including the swim and raft-boarding demo, and forward them to the member's home unit for entry into Ops Quals, or enter completion themselves. A course completion certificate shall be issued to all crewmembers who successfully complete the course requirements.

Personnel will be expected to re-accomplish this training every three years.

Equivalent training from the USCG or the DoD is acceptable, but must be current.

Additional questions and suggestions can be raised to HQ CAP/DO.

CAP National Headquarters
105 South Hansell Street
Bldg. 714
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-5937
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