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ACA Instructor of the Month - July 2020

Friday, July 3, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kelsey Bracewell
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The July 2020 ACA Instructor of the Month is Mike Sharp from Oak Hill, WV!


Mike’s passion for the outdoors drew him to take his first commercial rafting trip down the New River in 1980.  That experience led him to more adventurous trips on the Gauley River just a few months later.  Along with the growth of the rafting industry in West Virginia came the need for safety and rescue training.  Mike took his first ACA class in the early 1980’s.  He became an ACA instructor in the 1990’s then an Instructor Trainer in 2011.


With 40 years of river experience as a whitewater rafting guide and swiftwater safety instructor, Mike Sharp has trained with the ACA and Rescue 3 International in technical rope rescue, boat operator, and Safety & Rescue.  Mike is the Safety Coordinator at a large rafting and adventure resort in West Virginia and the Water Rescue Officer for his local Volunteer Fire Department.  He was the Safety Director for the 2018 U.S. National Whitewater Championship races and Water and Safety Director for the 2019 Spartan Race held in West Virginia.


Using the knowledge and techniques learned over the years has allowed him, and some of his students, to save people in dangerous situations on the water.



Mike is the owner of Rapid Rescue, LLC and teaches very “hands on” rescue classes in order to share his knowledge with students.  He feels blessed to also be able to volunteer and share this information, whether it’s with elementary school-age children, fire department members, or the National Park Service.  The more properly trained individuals there are on the water, the safer the waterways will be.


Congratulations to Mike for his amazing and inspirational years of work and dedication to making the world a safer place to paddle!

ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

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