Think safety on and off the water!

Basic Safety

  • Use the log book to sign boats out and in before and after every row.
  • Check all equipment before leaving the docks – You or you and your teammates are responsible for checking the conditions of your boat and its rigging. Please bring any missing parts to the attention of a coach immediately.
  • Dress in bright colored layered clothing and make sure your lower back and feet are well protected.
  • Every rower must wear a safety vest. Wear your own or pick up an SRC vest from the basket on the dock.
  • Make sure you have the supplies that will keep you physically comfortable – such as hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water.
  • Launches must contain first aid kits and a life preserver for each person in the shell.

[icon icon=”exclamation”]Handle your boat carefully

  • Follow the rules for correct boat handling to insure your safety and that of others.
  • Fragile shells must only touch hands, water and stretchers.
  • At the dock lower your boat gently into water away from the dock
  • Make sure rigging is not resting on the dock.
  • Always put dockside oar in the oarlock first and make sure oarlocks are tightly closed.
  • On getting into the boat step only on the designated space, otherwise uh-oh!
  • Oars are always carried blade first.
  • Oars should be placed face down the dock.
  • Try and keep grips out of the water and rinse after rowing.

Know Weather And Water Conditions

  • Check the weather and water conditions.You can check out both on our web site even before coming to the boathouse by clicking on weather and water watch.
  • Use common sense about going out when the river or tide are abnormally high or fast or if there is debris in the water which could damage equipment or cause you to capsize. If you can see lightening or a storm approaching, get off the water immediately.

Obey All Local Water Traffic And Safety Rules

  • Know where you are going by familiarizing your self with landmarks (and potential hazards).
  • Keep a good lookout at all times.
  • Be courteous to others on the water.

Know How To Swim, But Stay With The Boat If It Capsizes

  • Shells and oars are flotation devices. Don’t panic – stay calm and with the boat.
  • Swampings, when the boat is filled with water by large wakes, heavy rain or leaks, are the most common cause of capsizing.
  • The right way to handles a large wave is to stop rowing and turn the boat parallel to the wave.
  • Row away from the wake.
  • If the boat becomes swamped enough to be concerned about safety, try to row to a calmer area where you can bail or to the nearest dock.
  • If the boat fills with water and you cannot row, go into the water and turn the boat over.
  • Then indicate you need help by using the standard distress signal.
  • Hold one or two of the oars vertically in the air.

Don’t row alone

  • Even if you are rowing in a single, try to row alongside a friend.
  • Keep in sight of each other and land – follow the shoreline.

Rowing In Hot Weather

  • Heat exhaustion and dehydration are the primary dangers
  • Maintain a high fluid level – bring 50% more water than you think you need.
  • A wet hat will keep the body cooler.
  • Wear sunglasses to reflect the glare and plenty of sunscreen.

Rowing In Cold Weather

  • To protect against the cold, oarsmen and coxswains should wear layers of clothes, removing and adding as the need arises.Poagies are bags that cover the oar handle and the hands but still enable the rowers to grip the handle.
  • Plastic freezer bags over sneakers can protect your feet from water and cold air. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from glare, spray and cold wind.
  • Hypothermia and exposure are primary dangers if you capsize in cold water.
  • Get out of the water as quickly as possible.
  • Get warm quickly and seek medical help.

Rowing In Wet Weather

  • A single layer of water repellant fabric will stop most of the rain and waves.
  • Water resistant material will not keep you dry.
  • Wet weather on a cold day is of the greatest concern because heat loss will increase.
  • Wool wicks water away from the body and retains more body heat than cotton.
  • Wear a poncho or improvise one from a garbage bag.
  • Use plastic freezer bags on your feet.