2023 K38 Japan Annual Instructor Conference

Fire Department Marine Unit Training

The annual K38 instructor meeting will be held in Hokkaido in October, 2023. This is an invitational conference that is held each year to increase program efficiency and client outreach.
K38 Japanese Instructors will be gathering in the northernmost prefecture of Japan. Our annual conference is a vital to our continued K38 leadership, community and teamwork.
Japanese instructors will be discussing the new K38 standards that will be implemented in 2024, training methods, equipment updates and the recertification process for current k38 certificate holders.
K38 Japan introduced Rescue Water Craft training into the country with support from Mari back in 2010. They are legacy partners along with JPBOT for raising the standard of operation and personnel safety and care most about service to their respective communities.
K38 Japan has enjoyed an incredible instructor cadre over the years, comprised of Japan’s greatest RWC boating talent.
Host agency; Hokkaido Water Safety Association.

For more information
名前:岸 浩明(Hiroaki Kishi)
Name: Hiroaki Kishi
Phone: 011-788-6251
Address: 4-22, Kita 25-jo Higashi 21-chome, Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
E-mail: k38kishi@gmail.com

k38 Japan Facebook


Posted: March 8, 2023

Come train with K38 and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
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Caution: Visit page (site) terms and conditions. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions and country of origin regulations. The opinions and information in this post is subject to change as industry alerts, methods or notices are administered through laws, rules, cautions, regulations, or industry standards and will not be reflected in the original post date. Use at your own discretion, risk and caution.

K38 Content Creator of Rescue Water Craft and Personal Water Craft boating international education, jobsite safety and standards: Shawn is the world’s foremost authority and leading subject matter expert. She cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers, Public Safety Agencies, Military and Rescue Water Craft operators. Dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care and competency



The intention of failure motivates others to fail. So the experience becomes familiar and then everything is okay in the worst possible way.

What is the answer for this?

The framework of the answer is in the validity of achievement.

Is achievement protected in the measure of repetitive failure so that only one element of the hierarchy cannot be disputed?

Some people don't want to succeed because they are only familiar with not forging ahead. Sometimes its due to budget, sometimes to political edges and sometimes its a personal problem. And sometimes its because of poor imitation.

Familiarity can become dangerous if its aligns with complacency. High risk operations require a higher level of accounting. Don't slack or back down, stay on the edge of concern and manage it. Slow things down if its getting too fast.

How about we focus on the definition of failure:

1. an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success:
His effort ended in failure. The water rescue was a failure.

2. nonperformance of something due, required, or expected:
a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.

3. a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency:
the failure of the team


Don't assume everything will be fine. Know your team. Know your equipment. Risk is a real problem for us, managing it is even more severe. Take inventory and be honest. You will feel better and everyone will benefit from your leadership concerns

What is our rational purpose of the consequence of lifesaving? WE have several elements:

1. The Mindset of the Team and Leadership
2. The assets put in place
3. The management of the marine unit needs

We can outline in a practical manner the route of failure.

Its conducted by the review of our mishaps, the study of maritime history or the evaluation of other agency mishaps and an honest accounting of the pitfalls therein.

The paramount issue that faces our Maritime RWC culture is ‘what do to do about that? A discovery phase must be embarked.

One answer is to find the meaning of the utility of RWC purpose and effective us and the associated safety of those risks observed. We need to question but not miss the point.

We have to discover these before we are led away to another mishap by those who enforce failure by doing nothing at all to remedy it.

In our world we deal with suffering, either from malevolence, natural incidents, accident or ignorance, these are some of the instance of accident or peril.

We are a point of contact in that path, but recovery continues after tragedy for everyone. Hence, review, review, review!

Bearing the tragic consequence surrounding water rescue, is the notice of engaging in something meaningful, something sacred.

For those who lost their compassion they often choose the adversarial account of survivors, distancing themselves from the meaningful action that is worth the suffering and controversy to modernize a program.

Allow your survivors to teach you well.

Question a way of being that may need to be modified or retired. Courage to conduct actions in a manner that can reveal itself in the moment of risk that are relationship bound. You, your craft, your mechanic, your team, the survivors.
This is the price of experience.


Its even more important to question products, their structural failures and common sense red flags. If you have catastrophic failures with purchased gear, document the issues and contact the manufacturer with your concerns.

Ask for for remedial solutions. Make sure that it's not because you abused the product or mismanaged it, and if it is - address that head on with your team.

Taking responsibility with your own volition for the suffering and tragedy of those in peril while you are operating and work to remediate it as a conduit of good. You may be saving your own life first.

Here is what I tell myself when working: I am you and you are I. I am like the survivor and they are like myself. My experience is that I want to come home safely, not take reckless actions into emotion, but to be responsible for my actions and remediate accordingly to success.

I don’t want to place a barrier in my experience by jumping a wave with my RWC, operating in fear, not having technical control in confined spaces and on and on…

Reject the excuses of those who provide barriers and fail to bear the responsibility of leading properly. Question everything presented to you in the RWC training workups by conducting you own vigilance.

• Get to know the maritime community.
• Become knowledge of the ATONs
• Understand the mechanics of your Rescue Water Craft and appropriate maintenance
• Learn about atmospheric pressure systems and water conditions
• Investigate new technologies and products
• Become curious about private companies and their leading edges of real world experience

If you do not believe this is relative and reject it there is something wrong in your soul. There is a path of rejecting failures that would present to you your own.

Fear the lack of progress. It can cause great harm to you and others.


Posted 1.13.2019

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.


Inheritance is an extension of the past to ensure the future.

In 1973 the Kawasaki JS 400 was soon to make an appearance. The Jet Ski® was destined to revolutionize lifesaving and we didn’t even know it at that time. Not until 1974 were those waters tested. And Kawasaki got right to business!

Wake of Fame Inductee

Wake of Fame inductee Steve Stricklin who was working for Kawasaki during this time began showing the stand up Jet Skis to local southern California Lifeguards.



Steve is the inventor of a towable accessory device (TAD) for Personal Water Craft which eventually arrived to the modern rescue boards used today. He affixed a piece of indoor/outdoor green carpet by using rivets to the stern boarding area of a JS400.

On behalf of Kawasaki Motors Corporation USA, Steve went to Huntington Beach City Lifeguards bringing with him one of the Jet Skis and gave them a demonstration. This was the very first interaction of public service agencies being exposed to the potential of lifesaving using this unique new power craft.

A Stand Up Jet Ski in those days required great skill to manage in the surf zone. Lifeguards took off on them kneeling in the tray area. Since lifeguards were surfers they had pretty good balance and picked up on them for their first demos quickly.


We’ve come a long way since those days. We inherited an incredible legacy from these early pioneers.

We owe it to them to maintain the same standards we received from them:

1. Know the Jet Ski®
2. Know the Environment You Operate in
3. Maintain the Jet Ski®
4. Don’t Wipeout and Don’t Lose your Jet Ski®
5. Head out Safe and Come Back Safe
6. The more you ride the better you get

When you inherit something valuable, it is up to you to maintain it and to look after it and ensure that you can pass it along to the next generation.

Lifesaving is a calling. It's practicality rests in the assets and tools used for the job and the mentality of those Coxswains and instructors manning the helm.

And don’t forget these immortal words of Brian Bendix Wake of Fame inductee and first generation Jet Skier:

“A moment for safety will save a lifetime of regret”.


Posted 1.12.2019

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!
Join the Rescue Water Craft Association

Content Creator: Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

Become The Strength


Become the Strength.

Do not be lazy or weak. The sea is full of driftwood.

In the moment of it will be important to have your behaviors accountable to the mission, if you can't do this weakness will not give you an option. Failure is imminent.

That's not what we are about at K38. That's certainly not who you are.

-Shawn Alladio

K38 Founder

Content Creator - Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.


Rescue Water Craft Kiteboarder Recovery

Kites, Wind, Water and You

May 21, 2018 - Just a reminder, not a formal tutorial.

Shawn Alladio

Photos: k38 Italia

Rescue Water Craft Response for Kites, some reminders and suggestions, however training is required to reduce liability at sea.

How will you use a Rescue Water Craft to recover a kiteboarder and their equipment?

Most Kite Boarders are well versed in self-rescue and the warning signs of their activity relative to others in the water. They will often use their kite as a sail and drag themselves back to shore (safety) to depower and deflate their rig. They may even be using their kite as a float an/or a sail to draw back towards shore under wind power.

Not all Rescue Water Craft operators or crew are well versed in kiteboard activity and recovery.  Usually the Kiteboarding community has designated areas with high wind capacity and times of day they enjoy their sport. There are a variety of skill levels and equipment uses.

Does your agency have a policy for contact with kiteboards and their gear?  Two things to consider:

  1. Water Based Response
  2. Shore Based Response

Ask yourself a few questions, are the winds light or strong and growing stronger?  What is the direction of the swell, the wave height and spacing, shoreline configuration, hazards and any background or nearshore traffic?

An able bodied kiter can have their kite laying on the surface with little power, sometimes this is because the kiter has brought it down intentionally.  They may have a tethered safety line they are using to recover their bar. They will loop their safety line along with handle of their bar while the other lines to the kite will have slack and it will not be able to fly.

They will continue on wrapping lines on the bar depending upon if they have 4 or 5 line bars.  It is a slow process for the athlete at times.  You will see the kite draw in closer and they will possibly grab onto it or lay on it and be drawn back towards shore. Determine if they are in close and okay. You may not need to intervene; observe body language. Sometimes things don’t’ work out as planned.

If you are observing a kiteboarder in the water, try to differentiate between an assist or a rescue, and possibly no response. It’s always good to conduct a safety check and maintain visual contact. For instance, they may be dragging themselves back to recover their board using the kite as a sail. There are many different behaviors of self-rescue and trouble situations kiters can get into, this is only one for reference.

Know the causes of runaway kites and potential injuries both on water and land not just to the athletes but to the responders and bystanders. There are a variety of reasons kite boarders have safety issues underway or during prep to launch or recover. Kite boarders can suffer joint and ligament, dislocations, traumatic injuries, fractures and back and neck injuries. It would be advisable to prepare for transits with these type of injuries in mind.

Kiteboarding Safety

Know the popular Kiteboard areas and observe the times they tend to launch and their behavior on your area of operation. Spend some time observing their normal body language and deployment procedures.

Visit a local supply shop and inspect the gear and become familiar with it. If you have a popular kite zone in your area, prepare in advance for those difficult situations. Sometimes you can aid a kiter who is landing on powering down the kite to bring it down. In those cases you can communicate verbally or with sign language.

Or go and talk to them, invite them to come to your agency and give a presentation; ask them questions about response in case of an emergency. Check out their kite rigs, personal protective equipment and harness set ups and how to release their kite and secure their gear.

Know the signs of a kit in distress vs a kiter just going through reset formations, there is a difference. There are a variety of injuries or suspect injuries you may encounter, so be prepared.


Sunset is usually a higher risk time as thermals change with the heat/cooling effect. Out of control looping kites are a warning signal.

Remember lines can be submerged, never cross the path line of the kite location to the downed athlete with the Rescue Water Craft.

Approach the kite itself from upwind or up drift not downwind, never grab the lines.  Lines can wrap, and slice under a load and it happens quickly. Once pinned you are now part of the problem.

Hopefully the kiter has unhooked from the lines first. Sometimes with an unconscious individual or severely injured this is impossible. You will need to go to a Plan B real fast. Ask the kiter if they are free of their rig. Distance of lines to note are up to 25 meters or 75’. Many variables apply, so its up to your fundamental knowledge of water, weather, kites and survivor behaviors.

If responding with a Rescue Water Craft, you must maintain craft safety as a maritime asset. This means first you protect yourself as the operator and your crew, along with your Rescue Water Craft.

You do not want the filament lines to make contact with the helm or throttle lever, let alone personal contact, and be mindful these lines will sink.

Make a quick assessment; is the kiter exhausted, are they unconscious have they suffered a traumatic injury, are they panicking? What you see is your best determination and that can change quickly.

Make sure you have a minimum of 2 tourniquets on board your Rescue Water Craft. Our operational standard is 4 and we have them stowed inside a waterproof Pelican case.

At idle speed driving over lines you can consider the threat level of fouling your impeller to be ‘danger high’. So don’t do that.

Rescue Water Craft Approach

This is no easy task, consider the type of RWC you are using and your idle speed and athlete condition.

You may need to shut the Rescue Water Craft off and float/drag in the water alongside the athlete until a full recovery is made. Be mindful of which position your bow is in and subsequent threats under time and direction.

Stay clear of all filament lines regardless and do not grab the bar. Make sure you have your cutter ready with you in cases of an emergency.

If you are responding to a situation with a looping kite this one is tricky. It’s called the ‘death loop’. If you can make contact and deflate the kite that would be advantageous if a serious situation occurs. Remember two kites that are tangled, the athletes have no way to control the depowering of a kite.  You will see a spinning kite in these situations most likely.

Keep in mind with wind direction, velocity and athlete positioning they can get dragged and seriously harmed and you don’t want to become a part of that problem. Stay clear of the line of sight and line of drift, and think ahead!

Kites can impact others in the water such as swimmers, surfers or bodyboarding. They can run alongside piers or jetty walls or if offshore winds persist run away at sea. On land they can be menacing and deadly.

If nearshore grab the kite at the center bridge, along the leading inflatable edge if it makes it to land you may have to flip it upside down. Once again pull it downward rapidly and walk towards the tension of the lines against the athlete (if still tethered) and drag down to get the lift away from the inflatable bridge/sail.

MONITOR the Kite

Remember once a kite makes landfall there is a strong possibility depending upon wind conditions that the kite will pick up speed, you must act quickly and know what to do.

You need to know how to release the kite from an athletes harness at their midsection.  This can be very difficult with an unconscious survivor.  Typically you are looking for a red knobs to pull as a release (or cut the lines). Make sure the lines are not under tension and that you are both facing a positive direction relative to the wind.

Again be mindful of lines and their direct position to you, the Rescue Water Craft and the athlete. You may need to have several cutters as at this point. If you don’t have a safety tether attached to the cutter it’s possible to lose one overboard. Be mindful at this point of contact your own engine cut off switch. Secure it safely inside the chest opening of your lifejacket if you power off the Rescue Water Craft.

Approaches to the kite are best measured by contact with the leading edge of the inflatable bridge windward at approximately a 45 degree angle. Do you best to avoid the lines and keep a steady observation on the water and wind conditions surrounding the threat and athlete location.


Immediately deflate the kite by identifying the location of the plugs.  Then in a lengthwise direction roll the kite and wind the filament lines onto the bar itself. Then return to the kiter location and assist in their recovery. Remember once again lines can wrap or snap or have already done this to the athlete.

Be mindful if you are heading towards shore or out to sea. Keep a watch regarding nearshore rip currents. Keep in mind that the kitesurfer may be pulling their lines in. Consider how much drift you will have from point of contact to boarding the kitesurfer and possibly their kit on your Rescue Water Craft.

Ensure you are mindful of when to power off the Rescue Water Craft. Ensure you have secured all the threat hazards. I like to use a 4 foot runner with a carabiner to put a fast lock loop around kite gear to help me with mobility and stowage. I usually have redundancy of these assets. These are to be considered to be disposable accessory devices. Make sure you have replacements readily available.

When you get underway you do not want to ‘wash away’ the kite gear. You can do this one qualified Operator of a Stage 5 category or a Stage 5 category crew. Secure the kite board, athlete. Do not operate above 25 mph under transit. Slow is Pro at point of contact!

At sea you will be setting the kite adrift (or it already is), so there is that secondary hazard for others and don't forget the length distance from athlete to kite.

There are a variety of quick releases usually marked red but not always.

Landing a kite: grab again at center bridge, make sure the inflatable bridge is lowered to the ground with skirts up and throw some sand on the flaps to weight it down probably 20-30 lbs. of weight.

Pull the inflator hoses, deflation valve or plug to depower the rig on land and stow it, watch out for those lines again.

You should all undertake specific training with these kind of rigs, watch those lines and be mindful of your water jet pump.

Upwind or Downwind


Not a training aid, please refer to qualified certification programs and visit a Kiteboarding club or shop for further details and important information.

  1. Approach the athlete with the kite in front of them and the wind to your back on a 45 degree angle, or conduct a Johnny B Maneuver. (Draw an imaginary J with the bow of your craft to your point of contact either port or starboard side)
  2. Contact with the kite is best done at the center inflated bridge, hold on tight while maintaining your balance on the Rescue Water Craft and do not let go. Keep in mind the rotational forces of your Rescue Water Craft and any windage against both the hull and the kite itself.
  3. Approach the kite downwind at a 45 degree angle, you can also position and let it drift towards your line of direction and make contact broadside. Keep in mind you may be making contact on port or starboard side so refer to your best practices and operational functionality.
  4. Once you make contact with the kite and have the rig secured you can complete a full circle rotation keeping the lines to your inside turn so you don’t cross over them and bring the kite back to the athlete. They may be able to get underway again if the rig is okay and they have no injuries or exhaustion, talk to them and ask them how they are doing, visible signs of injury or panic take to shore
  5. (Situation Option) Or the kite must be deflated and the athlete may have already have packed down, or the kite could be drawing free in the direction of the wind. Often a kite boarder will use their harness to wrap a deflated kite into a bungle for transport. Kites can be lethal if unsecured so keep it low to the water/ground and deflate.
  6. Your ending is the most important part, slow steady stable transport and a calm ending for transfer to shore, keep your bow out to oncoming wave energy or your bow towards shore in large bodies of water.
  7. Power down your Rescue Water Craft once you are in 2.5 feet of water

Reference Video:



Check them out for drysuit comfort and safety underway. This is an outstanding company that has a pedigree in kiteboarding.

Ocean Rodeo

Photos: K38 Italia

Content Creator - Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.



A Swim in the Park is a story from our friend David.

David Pu'u is a K38 alumni and also a friend. He has chronicled many of a K38 Way of Training course through his lens.

He is a professional photographer and husband to Donna Pu'u who owns Betty Belts which is also my jewelry sponsor. Both of these humans are outstanding representations of what is right in humanity.

Take a moment to get to know David................

Jet Pump

Instructor Shawn Alladio


I found myself in a wary mindset as the Air Alaska jet lifted off an Arizona runway. Shawn Alladio and I watched the desert recede below us. We are both speed junkies, so found ourselves smiling as we accelerated into the blue morning sky on the last leg of our flight to Portland Oregon.

We were enroute to Astoria and our ultimate destination, the USCG Station at Tongue Point. Shawn sometimes invites me along as she engages her job as head of K38 Rescue, a global ocean safety and training organization, which is an internationally recognized specialist in PWC (personal watercraft, aka jet ski) operations.

Jet Pump

RWC Lifesavers


This week, Shawn was on assignment to work with the USCG STAN Team, which consisted of Five Advanced Rescue Swimmers who were building a course for the USCG on PWC operations, a new direction for the Coast Guard.

I was wary, because I knew we would be working in the Colombia River foul area off Cape Disappointment which is a series of sand bars in open ocean. I also had seen the film The Guardian, which was shot where we were going, and which documented the life and death of one of the best Advanced Rescue Swimmers ever. Then there are the countless videos of Rescue Boat training I have watched, which were filmed there.

The Bar is an infamous and legendary training ground for the CG. It would be cold, have weather, and the conditions would be whatever the Northern Pacific decided. Knowing the ocean. I was thinking about this. The proverbial running into the pit, with the best watermen and operators in the world as they acquired new skills.

Shawn has mentored me well over the years. My deep understanding of the ocean and skill in it were morphing as age is want to do to one. And here I was, seated alongside a woman who would be supervising the elite of our country’s rescue personnel. I guess that is why I would call this an adventure: some unknowns existed, and conditions could be anything.

To read the rest of the story please go to:

A Swim In The Park