Tribesmen Rowing Club Safety Statement and Policies
Rowing is a very safe sport when conducted with due consideration for the risks inherently associated with any outdoor water sport.
Everyone involved in rowing has a duty of care to ensure that their actions on and off the water are conducted in a manner which does not compromise the safety of themselves or others.
The Club has a responsibility to provide information and guidance regarding safety to its members. Individual members also have a responsibility to find out, learn, question and implement safety best practice.
The following will provide guidance on safety protocols relating to Tribesmen Rowing Club.
The risks rowers are exposed to are minimised through good boat design and the implementation of safe practice.
There are four main areas to observe that will make a rower safer in the boat in case of an emergency:
- Bow Balls – Must fit properly, must be firmly attached and must not be torn, cracked or perished.
- Heel Restraint – Each shoe must be secured properly and individually. The heel tie must be set so that the maximum lift of the heel off the foot stretcher can not exceed 7cm/2inches. “Yo-yo is a no-no”. When checking give each shoe a sharp tug.
- Quick Release – A tug with one hand should release the Velcro shoe fasteners to facilitate the foot slipping out of the shoe easily should an emergency occur.
- Hatch Covers – The purpose of these is to prevent buoyancy compartments from filling up with water. Make sure they are in place, fitted and sealed properly.
Safety on the slip
The slip can be a busy place when several boats are leaving or coming back to the slip.
Rowers are urged to watch out for slip and trip hazards and always listen to and follow the instructions given by the person in charge of the boat.
Safety / Coach launch
The launch should;
- Be quick, manoeuvrable and stable and not create excessive wash.
- Have handholds or ladder on the side to help any person being rescued and provide self-help should the driver fall overboard.
- Have sufficient space for a person to lie down.
- Have a plate stating the maximum weight it can support.
- Have propeller guards.
- Be fitted with a kill switch that is attached to the driver.
- Have regular maintenance checks on boat and engine. A boat maintenance log should be kept. This should record all maintenance and repairs carried out on the boat and the motor.
- Have easy entry to and from the water.
The Safety/Coach launch should carry the following equipment:
- A bailer
- A sound signalling warning device
- A sharp knife in a carrying sheath (to cut free from tangled ropes or weeds)
- Anchor and line
- First aid kit
- Thermal blankets
- Throw bag
- Life buoys
Launch drivers must adhere to best practice safety behaviour by:
- Carrying an appropriate form of communication device (mobile phone) and knowing emergency numbers.
- Knowing the rules of the river.
- Wearing life jacket at all times.
- Being trained in boat handling and rescue techniques.
In the event of an accident rowers should be instructed to stay with their boats. However, all members should declare that they are confident and competent swimmers.
They should be able to
- Swim for at least 50 meters in light clothing (rowing gear).
- Treading water for at least two minutes.
- Swim under water for at least 5 meters.
If a boat capsizes rowers must be instructed to stay with the boat, regardless of their swimming ability. The boat can be used as a life raft. Rowing Ireland recommends that the clubs hold annual capsize training.
The following are activities should be practised
- Righting and getting back into the capsized boat.
- Lying on top of and paddling the boat.
- Alerting other boats and launches to get help.
- Recovery using throw lines.
- Holding on to the boat and swimming to the nearest bank.
First Aid Boxes
Fully stocked first aid boxes are provided for anyone to make use of should the need arise. They are left in the gym area. Please report to the Health and Safety Officer if you find anything missing from the boxes so that they can be re-stocked.
A defibrillator is available on the external wall of the club. Training is provided in the use of the defibrillator.
The Club has a good supply of life jackets in different sizes for the use by launch drivers and coxes. It is the responsibility of the user to make sure that the life jacket is the correct size and type. Inflatable jackets must not be used by coxes in front loading boats.
The coach/athlete ratio needs to be considered from a safety point of view. The correct ratio depend on a number of factors such as
- The experience level of the rowers.
- The weather conditions and the flow on the river.
- The type of training session.
- The type and number of boats being used.
The head coach or the person in charge of organising the row is best placed to decide the ratio.
Safety Considerations pertaining to Crews and Scullers rowing without a Launch
The rowing committee has advised that such crews should
- Check to make sure flow and weather conditions are suitable for the row to take place.
- Tell somebody that you are going up the river and what time you will be back. Don’t forget to let them know when you have arrived back at the club.
- Bring a mobile phone with you. Who you ring in case of an emergency is up to you, but it must be someone who is able to react should an incident occur. A waterproof pouch has been left on the shelf above the press in the gym. Please use it!
Safety in the Gym
The following is a guide to safe use of the gym space in Tribesmen Rowing Club. It is a small space shared by many, so consideration and awareness of others are paramount.
- Make sure you are fully fit to embark on a fitness program. If in doubt consult with your doctor.
- Proper foot wear and gym attire should be worn at all times.
- Ask advice from a qualified person if you are unsure of how to use gym equipment.
- Allow adequate space for other gym users when using free weights.
- Always check the weights before using weight machines.
- Use towels to cover benches and mats for hygiene and cleanliness purposes.
- Do not leave free weights on benches as they may roll off and cause injury.
- When stretching, find a space away from anyone using the weights equipment.
- Wipe down the equipment after use. Disinfectant spray has been left in the gym for your use.
Rules of the River Corrib
(Click To Enlarge)
Incidents involving rowers on the river or around the club house do occasionally happen. It is important that the incident is reported to the Health and Safety Officer as soon as possible after the incident has taken place while the details are still fresh in the minds of those involved.
The incident report form below can be used. There are copies of this form in the clubhouse. Incidents can also be reported by e-mail to the Health and Safety Officer.