WATER SAFETY

Weybridge Rowing Club is committed to keeping members safe on the water and when engaged in rowing or training activities by following British Rowing's Rowsafe Code. We endeavour to meet this commitment by having a clearly communicated policy that is understood by members, coaches and leaders in the Club. To facilitate this all members will be assessed for competence in rowing safety knowledge and will not use club equipment unsupervised until they have been satisfactorily assessed​.

 

 
 
            RIVER STATE BOARDS

Restrictions on boating apply to everyone boating from the Club. Used to indicate the state of the river, there are coloured boards situated on the door of the ladies changing room.

The timeliness in changing these boards is good. Still, all Risk Assessors (RAs) - those who hold a 'CoW' - are expected to make a Risk Assessment (RA) for their crew(s).

 

Mouse-hover (or click through) each image (above) that depicts the different river state boards and gives details of the key indicators used to determine the board displayed at the Club.

Also posted around the Club are our Risk Assessment Guidelines for Boating. These guidelines explain the four statuses and how they determine who can row.


When making a risk assessment - considering stream, river level, wind speeds, visibility, etc. - you may find useful these various tools: 

If in any doubt about the wisdom of boating, don't.

For all to read:

Club river state board 'Yellow'
Club river state board 'Red'
Club river state board 'Red/Yellow'
Club river state board 'White'

SHEPPERTON LOCK: DOWNSTREAM RIVER LEVEL

WALTON: FLOW RATE
AND RIVER LEVEL

            SAFETY EQUIPMENT

  • Hi-viz tops must be worn by all bow-persons/single scullers as the outermost layer of clothing at all times when afloat, during daylight hours.​

  • Life-jackets: All coxswains must wear a life-jacket and located in the boathouse, hanging from hooks on the wall of the leftmost bay as you enter. Special rower’s life-jackets are also available for use by those who are nervous about capsizing or when a coach determines it is necessary based on a risk assessment of the conditions and the experience of the crew.

  • Coaching launch: Anyone using a launch is to wear a life-jacket and carry a mobile phone. A Launch Safety Kit must be carried in the boat whenever in use and includes a laminated list of emergency telephone numbers. The engine 'kill-cord' must be attached to the launch driver. The Club Captain maintains a list of members qualified to drive the club’s launches. 
    Read our RA guide for launch users

  • Throw lines: The throw lines are kept in the boathouse, hanging from hooks on the wall of the leftmost bay as you enter. Anyone coaching or providing safety cover from the bank should equip themselves with a throw line. There is an additional throw line in the Launch Safety Kit for use in the launch.

            TWILIGHT ROWING OR ROWING AFTER DARK

"Rowing or sculling after nightfall is dangerous and should not be encouraged. When it is necessary, a coach should accompany crews and scullers on the bank or in an accompanying launch. All craft must be properly illuminated."

--Rowsafe Code

You must 

  • display a white light front and rear on rowing vessels and an all-round white light on coaching launches.

You must

  • as the bow-steer/single sculler, wear a pure white top (not hi-viz) as the outermost layer of clothing at all times when afloat.

Do NOT

  • allow inexperienced crews out at night

  • use red navigation lights.

If in any doubt about the wisdom of boating, don't.

 
            CERTIFICATES OF COMPETENCY AND WATERMANSHIP

 

Within a few weeks of joining all new members need to be assessed for their Certificate of Competency (CoC) to test their knowledge and practical application of rowing safety. This will ensure aspects of personal safety are addressed along with knowing how to use the club’s boats and blades safely and aware of the club’s navigation rules. Competency will be assessed for rowers and for coxes.

 

In normal conditions ('white' boards), experienced senior members who wish to boat unsupervised must have one member of the crew who has passed their Certificate of Watermanship, or CoW. Any senior member who wishes to boat unsupervised in a single scull will be allowed to do so only once they have been awarded a CoW in a single scull.

 

A CoW shows you have demonstrated the ability to conduct an appropriate risk assessment before boating as well as boat handling skills and navigational knowledge of our reach. Seniors who have not passed their CoW must either be in a boat with a member who has, be supervised by a member in an accompanying boat who has, or be supervised by a qualified Club Coach in the boat, on the bank or in a coaching launch. Coxes must obtain specific coxing competencies in order to boat without a coach alongside.

 

Also under normal conditions, an authorised Club Coach or Authorised Adult must accompany junior rowers and scullers (those under 18 years old) either in the boat, on the bank or in a coaching launch. Bank and launch-based supervisors must carry a throw line.

 

J16s - J18s can be awarded a CoW so they can boat in yellow board conditions, but still must be supervised by an adult with a CoW in the boat or in an accompanying boat/launch.

 

The Club Captain maintains and displays in the Clubhouse and the Members' Area the following lists:

  • Members who hold a CoW and therefore authorised Risk Assessors (RA)

  • Club Coaches: authorised Risk Assessors; some will also be Authorised Adults

  • Authorised Adults: have a CoC (basic watermanship), further navigational knowledge, the ability to safely supervise juniors and CRB-cleared.

 
            INCIDENT REPORTING

 

No matter how careful we all are, sometimes accidents happen. Here's what you should do:

  • All accidents must be reported to someone in authority at the club: the Club Captain, one of the Vice Captains or a Committee member

​​​

  • Incidents where equipment is damaged and/or someone is injured must be reported online to British Rowing (link above), giving full details of the incident: place, time, how it occurred, weather conditions, etc. with any supporting documentation as appropriate. Our Water Safety Adviser and Club Captain will receive a copy of this report.

  • Minor incidents such as 'near misses' and capsizes must be reported online, as above.

  • Any incident involving a motor vessel must be reported to the Environment Agency (EA) Incident Line 0800 807060. Make sure you note the name of the vessel and obtain witness statements if possible.

  • Damage to boats should be noted on the boathouse whiteboard, 'tagged' with a red label, then ideally marked as 'ooa' (out-of-action) on the boat booking sheet - thanks.

  • Never put a damaged boat back on the rack as if nothing had happened - this is quite unacceptable. If the boat is damaged it needs to be fixed, not left for someone else to find and deal with. No-one's going to be angry about a genuine accident, but hiding it or not owning up is a more serious matter!

  • For further advice or information, contact our Water Safety Adviser or our local Environment Agency office, reachable on 01276 454900 and based at Shepperton Lock.

WEYBRIDGE ROWING CLUB :: THAMES LOCK, JESSAMY ROAD, WEYBRIDGE, SURREY KT13 8LG :: info@weybridgerowing.club :: 01932 842993

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