Safety Rules


  1. The safety rules of the club shall represent a code of operation, which the Safety Adviser and Rowing Committee shall recommend for the safe conduct of rowing, sculling and coxing. These rules may need to be changed from time to time due to the changing nature of the river and the varying skill of the people engaged in rowing, sculling and coxing. Potential amendments will be proposed by the Safety Adviser who will submit changes in the rules to the next Rowing Committee meeting for approval. On approval, any amendments will be sent to the whole club.


  1. All persons involved in boating activities must be capable of swimming at least 100 metres in light clothing as well as completing all requirements established by the Row Safe Guide (copy available in the Safety File). Any person who appears to the Safety Advisor or any club coach to be unable to perform this task will be asked to demonstrate their ability at the next capsize drill. They will be expected to wear a Personal Floatation Devise (PFD) or lifejacket whilst on the water until this has been completed.


  1. All new members will be expected to undergo a capsize drill procedure, during which their swimming abilities will be tested.


  1. All coxswains are required to wear a PFD or lifejacket that is of the appropriate weight for the individual.


  1. All members are required to complete the club application form to declare their swimming ability, as well as an ICE form. No person under the age of 18 will be permitted to have a first outing without the application form signed by the individual’s parent or guardian.


  1. Crews or scullers under the age of 18, or adult beginners, will not train above the Customs Pier or below Denton Wharf unless given special permission from the Captain, Safety Adviser or any coach. Special exceptions will include crews or scullers who are supervised by adult crews/scullers of substantial experience or by the coaching launch.


  1. It will not be normal practice for crews composed by beginners to be coxed by beginners. Outings in which an inexperienced cox is controlling an inexperienced crew shall be monitored by a coaching launch, or by an experienced adult in a racing crew.


  1. Oarsmen or scullers are required to provide a change of clothing for rowing or sculling. In the event of submersion/getting wet, club members must have suitable items that will get them dry and warm on return to the club.


  1. Appropriate clothing must be worn according to weather conditions that will not hinder rowing technique. Other considerations are the use of sunblock in the summer and a drink to prevent dehydration.


  1. Club members should be aware of any potential risks to their health from participating in rowing, mainly from any intrusion caused by rusting equipment or the jetty, as well as the unlikely but serious risk of contracting Weil’s disease. Any cuts or injuries should be well washed.


  1. Crews and scullers are required to wear suitable shoes for walking down the jetty and for the class of boat they are rowing/sculling in.


  1. All coxed boats will be required to carry a regulation bailer, lanyard and sponge during training.


  1. Each crew or sculler is required to record their departure on the white board provided. Information should comprise of the following: name of boat; name(s) of crew; time of departure; expected time of return. This information should be deleted on return.


  1. Any club member present may call for the abandonment of any outing because of challenging weather conditions, challenging river conditions, the inabilities of the crew, the condition of the boat or any combination of these factors.


  1. In the standard training outings, boats will not cross the river, into the deep channel used by ocean shipping. However, none of the river is out of bounds to the club but it is prudent for such crossing to be made by agreement with both the Captain and Safety Adviser.


  1. Any crew that wants to go past the Customs Pier or Lower Hope point needs the agreement of both the Captain and Safety Adviser.


  1. All active boats must adopt the minimum standards established in the Row Safe Guide (2.3). All boats about to be used should be checked to see that all the equipment is present and functioning correctly.


  1. Any crew employing a cox of little experience shall complement the outing with a greatly increased awareness of the course and any other hazard present. The crew must make the coxswain understand that any problem he/she cannot deal with is covered by some simple word like “STOP” or “HELP”. It is advisable that the crew, and an experienced bowman in particular, should help the cox to navigate around potential hazards.


  1. All crews are asked to be conscious of impending weather, prevailing winds, the state of the tide and the constitution of the crew. In the case of encountering sudden adverse weather and/or water conditions, the crew must find as much shelter as possible and keep close to the shore.


  1. Rowing near to dusk or in restricted visibility is dangerous and it is prohibited to row in the dark. All reasonable steps must be taken to avoid this scenario. If there is a risk that a crew may misjudge their arrival time, they should be appropriately prepared before departure by making sure that they have high visibility clothing and a torch.


  1. In the event of a crew or sculler getting into difficulties, the appropriate action is to alert the Harbour Master, RNLI or dial 999 for the Coastguard.


  1. Circulation patterns: boats going against the tide will keep a maximum of 20 metres from the shore with those going with the tide keeping a maximum of 50 metres from the shore. The shore is defined as the waterline and consequently changes with the tide. This pattern may need to be broken at extreme high tide when the navigating past the Dolphins or Sea School. Typically, boats must keep inside the jetties.


  1. Coxswains are requested to keep a sharp lookout for oncoming boats, particularly scullers whose vision is restricted. If in doubt, they should stop the boat by shouting “STOP” or by hailing the oncoming boat.


  1. Normally, the rowing boats should give way to sailing craft. Those who are primarily in charge of steering are largely responsible for communicating with other river traffic where necessary and for making sure that the crew are prepared to stop and manoeuvre as required.


  1. Heavier boats should be carried with more manpower and all members are requested to assist in lifting out and carrying when necessary. Particular care is needed when boats are waterlogged or when the tide is very low. At times, all available members should help.


  1. Club members are expected to be prepared to get their feet wet in order to assist in holding of boats from the jetty in order to prevent/limit damage to the boat.


  1. Care is needed to avoid cutting in front of the bows of moored craft, particularly barges, especially with fast flowing tides. These, along with other obstacles, need to be given a wide berth with extra consideration given with strong tides.