OZARK (KFSM) -- Flooding and water-related deaths have made their mark on our area and Arkansas Outdoor Outfitters is helping to make sure those hitting the water will be safe and prepared through a swift water rescue course.
Proper rope throwing and the philosophy of water safety are just a couple of the specific lessons taught in the class.
"I've been kayaking for about half a year and it's a lot of fun," said kayaker Memo Tellez. "I've also had some bad experiences where I have had to improvise and I did not like that; it was a very stressful situation. I decided to come take this course because I figured it would be better to know what to do in those situations."
The instructors are focusing on tools that help aid in rescue, but they're also stressing the importance of knowing your own abilities.
"Our main focus is self rescue and no more victims," Rob Moody, head instructor said. "Really two main points that I like to get out in this class."
With recent flooding and accidents on the water, both the students and instructors said this course comes at the perfect time.
"One of my friends actually died," Tellez said. "That kind of made me realize that water can be fun, but you really need to know what to do."
"I feel like I wanna' drown and I don't wanna' watch anybody drown," Rodger Talley, white water paddler said. "I wanna' know what to do in case there's a situation that I can help. I've been rescued and I've rescued people."
Talley has been white water paddling for more than 30 years and he takes this course twice a year, every year.
"I have not had a hundred percent comprehension," Talley said. "I learned something this morning that I had forgot. I'm going to teach these skills at Boy Scout camp, so I come back for refresher courses here."
The swift water rescue instructors are not only helping the experienced, but also those who know nothing about water safety.
"A lot of times, people see people in harm and risk their lives to get out there," Moody said. "Two dead people is not good, either. So, what we got to do is keep people alive to be able to save lives."
The students in this weekend's course have not trained on the water just yet, because the river is at flood level. Instructors said they hope to test their skills in the water on Monday (May 22).
Arkansas Outdoor Outfitters offers a one-day and two-day course. Those classes will be offered through the summer at Siloam Springs Kayak.
To sign up or for more information, you can visit the Arkansas Outdoor Outfitters Facebook page.