Interim Safety Rules 17/3/19, subject to ratification
- It is a condition of club membership that you are in possession of your own life-jacket. This is your own Personal Protection Equipment. It should be labelled with your name and you are responsible for its care and maintenance. Recommended life-jacket is “pull cord to inflate rowing life-jacket”. https://www.lifejackets.co.uk/products/22/bluewave-150n-navy-manual-pull-cord-to-inflate-gas-lifejacket-save-5
- When rowing in winter, at high river levels and/or in the dark, every crew member must have their life jacket with them. It is recommended that you wear it (this is good practice for the Celtic Challenge). People who self-identify as ability-impaired or weak swimmers should wear at all times.
Note: a life jacket is not a universal benefit. Once it is inflated, it prevents you swimming and may hinder you saving yourself. While you are holding onto a boat or a bank, it is probably best not to inflate: only inflate when you think you are going to need rescuing by others.
- Before launch, on the slipway, on every occasion, every crew must carry out the following safety review: a) life-jackets b) throw-line identified, checked and all crew aware how to use it c) mobile phones identified and location noted d) boat headlight working (if rowing in the dark) e) check all crew members are happy with the safety arrangements.
- All coxes (in effect, all crew members) to be aware of the following:
- When coxing, you are legally responsible for the safety of your crew and other river uses. You are ‘in command’ and decisions will be made by you or through you.
- When rowing downstream in fast water, keep to the middle of the river but be prepared to move safely and quickly to the cox’s right (as if driving in France) if you meet an on-coming boat.
- When rowing upstream, give room to boats coming downstream. The same rule applies: keep right (as seen from the cox’s point of view). A boat travelling upstream is much more manoeuvrable than one coming down.
- It is extremely dangerous to be on the outside of the bend. The boat can be carried into branches in deep, fast water.
- Turning the boat round is technically difficult. Choose a wide, straight section of river. Rowing the boat round may result in hitting the bank or tangling with trees: consider stopping dead in the water and then pivoting on the spot, or going to the side and then pushing the bows out whilst holding the stern to the bank. If unsure, discuss the manoeuvre with experienced members of the crew before attempting it.