Canyon Search and Rescue Volunteer

Our Canyon SAR team members are team players, are self-reliant and have a good understanding of how to safely move themselves and their team through a Canyon.

As a general rule Canyon SAR teams will only accept new members with several years of recreational canyoning experience. You will have a high level of fitness and be able to move confidently through very steep bush and Canyons, whilst carrying all technical and personal gear needed.

Commitment & Training

Canyon Search & Rescue volunteers are called upon to conduct search and rescue operations at any time of the day or night. You, your whānau, and your employer should all be comfortable with this possibility.

Land Search and Rescue provides a variety of training for Canyon SAR volunteers. Some of it is provided by professional tutors organised at a national level by Land Search and Rescue and some of it is provided by your local group.

Canyon SAR training is in depth: you will be taught the latest rescue and rigging techniques, also how to safely manoeuvre a patient, with or without a stretcher, safely out of the Canyon or to a safe helicopter winch spot. You will be taught different search techniques in varying corridors of water.

The frequency and duration of training will depend on your local group, but most groups train at least once a month, and a couple of weekends a year.

Canyon SAR teams are located in the Upper North Island, the Central North Island (Ruapehu Alpine Rescue Organisation (RARO)), Wellington, the Upper South Island (Tasman Shift Water), Westland (Hokitika), Canterbury and Mackenzie, and Aspiring National Park and Fiordland (Wanaka).


Role Description

Canyon SAR members are specifically trained in canyon rescue. Our Canyon teams are called upon not only for Canyon SAR operations but also to support Field Teams to search technical terrain where additional skillsets may be required to maintain safety.

Register your Interest


Make sure you discuss joining SAR with your employer before signing up. Some work places allow special leave for SAR operations, others may require you to use your own leave. Discuss the process for notifying your boss when you are called out on a search.

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Land Search and Rescue acknowledges the huge commitment made by the whānau of our volunteers. Without family support, many of our volunteers would be unable to dedicate their time. Please share this information with your whānau.

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Ready to play your part?

Get in touch with your local Land Search & Rescue group…

Register your Interest

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