Safety Plan

Exeter Rowing Club is committed to ensuring the safety of all its members, other water users and members of the public who may come into contact with the club or its activities.



It is the responsibility of all members to read, understand and follow the safety plan.


It is the responsibility of the committee to:
• Produce and communicate a Safety Plan for all members and coaches to follow
• Modify and update the Safety Plan in the light of incidents, risk assessments and current good practice
• Actively promote a culture of safe practice


Educate and train crews in understanding and following the club’s Safety Plan and that of other clubs when training away.

Club Water Safety Adviser

Advise on the effectiveness of the of the safety plan.

Key Arrangements for Safety

1. Emergency. In the event of a medical emergency SHOUT for help and then call for an ambulance on 999. You should first use any mobile phone that is available. If no mobile phone is available, there are lots of pubs and houses along the river and canal; some of these are marked by the letter T on the Exeter Rowing Club Canal and River Navigation Rules chart and map. Be sure to be clear when talking to the emergency service stating what the emergency is, where and when it has happened and what services you require. Further advice is on the Safety Noticeboard.

2. Resuscitation. Instructions for resuscitation are shown on the poster at the back of the boathouse. If resuscitation is required then be confident and do it.

3. Swimming. All club members must be able to swim 100 metres in light clothing and shoes. All club members are required to do a swim test when joining the club.

4. Personal health.

a. You should neither train nor compete if you are:

i) carrying an injury that might worsen through activity
ii) suffering a virus or other illness
iii) dehydrated
iv) still have alcohol in your blood

b. You must not attempt to lift heavy weights without proper instruction and supervision. Do not try to be stronger than you are.

c. If you are at risk from heart failure or stroke then you should only train within limits set by your G.P.

d. You must always dress appropriately for rowing, use hats, tracksuit bottoms and splashproof tops; use the layer principle and always have spare dry kit.

5. Alcohol. Great fun, but the devil’s blood; you can’t be athletic and alcoholic. Don’t drink and drive, don’t let your friends drink and drive and look after any club member who has drunk too much.


6. The boat. Boats must be in a safe condition. Coach, cox, stroke, sculler or senior rower are to check the following:

a. Bowball complete and not a taped repair.
b. Heel restraints intact.
c. Bow, stern and under seat buoyancy compartments properly sealed.
d. Buttons on oars secure.
e. Lights carried at night.

7. Lifejackets and buoyancy aids. All coxes must wear either a lifejacket or a buoyancy aid.

8. Signing in and out. All boats must be signed in and out, including privately owned boats.

9. Weather and river conditions. Either coach, cox, stroke, sculler or senior rower must make a decision on whether the weather and river conditions are suitable for rowing – guidance is on the safety noticeboard.

10. Hazards. Coach, cox, stroke, sculler or senior rower are to be aware of all hazards on the river, and canal as indicated on the chart and map at the back of the boathouse.

11. Rule of the river. Coach, cox, stroke, sculler or senior rower are to follow the rule of the river which is to stay on the right hand side (as the cox looks forward).

12. Boating instructions. Coach, cox, stroke, sculler or senior rower are to follow the club’s boating instructions to ensure that:

a. Boats are lifted off racks safely.
b. Boats are carried to the water’s edge safely.
c. Crews get in boats correctly.
d. Coxes give proper commands and crews respond promptly.
e. Coach, cox, stroke, sculler or senior rower keep a good look out at all times.
f. Capsize and accident drills are followed.

13. Other river users. Courtesy must be shown to all other river users at all times, no matter who is right or wrong. BR recommends the following approach to the rude and aggravating people “bleak smile, shrug of the shoulders and paddle off”.


14. Boathouse safety. Never, ever leave litter, clothing or bits of equipment lying around. Always put boats, riggers, seats, oars, bikes, tools, trestles back where they belong when you have finished with them!

15. Trailer safety. The trailer is to be used in accordance with BR guidance and ERC Minibus and Trailer Driving – Safety Requirements.

16. After accident action. Always report incidents to the Club safety advisor (

All members should also be aware of the EWSA Water Safety Rules and Routines.