Rescue PFDs can be an amazing tool for swiftwater rescue, but they are largely useless and can actually create hazards if you don’t know how to use one. In this video Eric Riley of the Wyoming-based Swiftwater Safety Institute demonstrates some of the proper ways to use a rescue PFD. Riley, a certified Wilderness EMT and swiftwater rescue specialist, also covers a few common situation where a rescue PFD can be a useful safety tool. Remember, however, that a video tutorial is no substitute for in-person instruction. Make sure to take a swiftwater rescue class before hitting the river with specialized safety equipment like a rescue PFD.

More from C&K:

—Video: How to use a throw bag

—Video: Rescue for River Runners with Jim Coffey