Boy Scout Merit Badge
- Before doing requirements 2 through 15
- Complete Second Class rank requirements 7a through 7c and First Class
rank requirements 9a through 9c.
Second Class rank requirements 7a
(7a) Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe
(7b) Demonstrate your ability to jump feetfirst into water over
your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn
sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place.
Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by
reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain
why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing
rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid
contact with the victim.
First Class rank requirements 9a through
(9a) Tell what precautions should be taken for a safe trip
(9b) Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and
as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore
in deep water).
- Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a
strong manner for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke,
breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
- Explain the following:
- Common drowning situations and how to prevent them.
- How to identify persons in the water who need assistance.
- The order of methods in water rescue.
- How rescue techniques vary depending on the setting and the condition of
the person needing assistance.
- Situations for which in-water rescues should not be undertaken.
- Demonstrate "reaching" rescues using various items such as arms, legs,
towels, shirts, paddles, and poles.
- Demonstrate "throwing" rescues using various items such as lines, ring
buoys, rescue bags, and free-floating supports. Successfully place at least
one such aid within reach of a practice victim 25 feet from shore.
- Show or explain the use of rowboats, canoes, and other small craft in
- List various items that can be used as rescue aids in a noncontact
swimming rescue. Explain why buoyant aids are preferred.
- Perform the following equipment-based rescues for a conscious practice
subject 30 feet from shore. Use a proper entry and a strong approach
stroke. Speak to the subject to determine his condition and to provide
instructions and encouragement.
- Present a rescue tube to the subject, release it, and escort the victim
- Present a rescue tube to the subject and use it to tow the victim to
- Present a buoyant aid other than a rescue tube to the subject, release
it, and escort the victim to safety.
- Present a buoyant aid other than a rescue tube to the subject and use it
to tow the victim to safety.
- Remove street clothes in 20 seconds or less and use a non-buoyant aid,
such as a shirt or towel, to tow the subject to safety. Explain when it is
appropriate to remove heavy clothing before attempting a swimming rescue.
- Explain the importance of avoiding contact with an active victim and
describe lead-and-wait tactics.
- Perform the following nonequipment rescues for a conscious practice
subject 30 feet from shore. Begin in the water from a position near the
subject. Speak to the subject to determine his condition and to provide
instructions and encouragement.
- Provide a swim-along assist for a calm, responsive, tired swimmer moving
with a weak forward stroke.
- Perform an armpit tow for a calm, responsive, tired swimmer resting with
a back float.
- Perform a cross-chest carry for an exhausted, passive victim who does
not respond to instructions to aid himself.
- In deep water, show how to escape from a victimís grasp on your wrist.
Repeat for front and rear holds about the head and shoulders.
- Perform the following rescues for an unconscious practice subject
at or near the surface 30 feet from shore. Use a proper entry and strong
approach stroke. Speak to the subject and splash water on him to determine his
condition before making contact. Remove the victim from the water, with
assistance if needed, and position for CPR.
- Perform an equipment assist using a buoyant aid.
- Perform a front approach and wrist tow.
- Perform a rear approach and armpit tow.
- Describe how to respond if a victim submerges before being reached by a
rescuer, and do the following:
- Recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using a feetfirst
- Repeat using a headfirst surface dive.
- Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedures:
- Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.
- Demonstrate proper CPR technique for at least 3 minutes using a
mannequin designed to simulate ventilations and compressions.
- Demonstrate management of a spinal injury:
- Explaining the signs and symptoms of a spinal injury.
- Support a face up victim in calm, shallow water.
- Turn a subject from a facedown to a faceup position while maintaining
- Show that you know first aid for other injuries or illnesses that could
occur while swimming or boating, including hypothermia, heat reactions, muscle
cramps, sunburn, stings, and hyperventilation.
BSA Advancement ID#: 9
Source: Boy Scout
Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002