Rowing P.E.I. Safety Manual 2021

2021 Rowing PEI Safety Manual

Updated April 2021

Contents

Rowing PEI Safety Guidelines……………………………………………………………… 3

Annual Safety Training…………………………………………………………….. 3

Club Rules………………………………………..……………..……………..….. 3

Member’s Responsibilities……….……………………………………………  ..… 3

Responsibilities of the Safety   …..…………………………………………………… 4

Double on the Dock ………………………………………………………………………………..5

Safety and Safety Boat Operator Qualifications……………………………………………… 5

Violations of the Safety Guidelines……………………………………………………………………. 5

Appendix A: Certification of Scullers…………………………………………………………….… 5

Appendix B: Rower’s Safety Pledge……………………………..………….……………….… 6

Appendix C: Rules of the Water……………………………………………………… 7

Appendix D: Operations in Cold Conditions…………….………………..………. 9

Appendix E: Safety Boat Equipment………………………………………………….… 10

Appendix F: Safety Boat Operator’s Pledge ……..…………………………….. 11


Rowing PEI Safety Guidelines

The intent of these guidelines is to enhance the safety and enjoyment of the sport of rowing, specifically in the coastal waters off Prince Edward Island. These guidelines outline procedures used by members of Rowing P.E.I. to achieve that aim.

Annual Safety Training  

A safety training meeting will be held at the beginning of each season.  All coaches, safety boat operators and coxswains are to attend.

All returning members are also required to attend a safety refresher for rowers, which will include watching the RCA Safety Video

RCA Safety Video

https://youtu.be/vVOCsfJna3Q?list=PL-X2xFV9z3jQBXcilaTGAECttvlK4do7S

Club Rules

  • The name of each rower will be recorded in a daily log book. The log will include the time of departure and return, which boat the rower occupied, and a cell phone number for at least one person in each boat.
  • Emergency contact information for all rowers should be easily accessible at the Charlottetown Yacht Club. 
  • Phone numbers for first responders and a script for use in emergencies should be posted on the bulletin board and included in the orange lock box at the Charlottetown Yacht Club.
  • Appropriate safety reminders will be posted at the dock and in the boat, including a map showing the traffic and flow patterns on the harbour and beaching locations.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep the latest schedule of other ocean-going vessels (e.g. cruise ship schedule, sailboat race schedule) up to date.

Member’s Responsibilities

  • All rowers must sign a waiver and pay applicable insurance fees before rowing. A parent or guardian must sign a waiver for any rower under age 18.
  • By signing a waiver, rowers attest to their ability to swim and if not, to wear a PFD at all times. They acknowledge the inherent risks associated with oceanic water sports.
  • All rowers must be able to climb into the safety boat from the water.
  • All rowers must be certified as outlined in Appendix A, and must sign the “Rower’s Safety Pledge” located in Appendix B.
  • Rowers must stay in sight of the safety boat operator at all times and follow directions from the safety. 

Responsibilities of the Safety 

The term Safety refers to the individual club member who assumes responsibility for ensuring safety procedures are followed by all club members during a row. The “Safety” may be in a scull or in an accompanying safety boat.

  • When five or more coastal shells are in use, a safety boat must be used.  Rowers must stay within sight of the safety boat. 
  • The safety boat must have space for at least five rescued rowers to be extracted in one lift. 
  • The safety boat is first to leave the dock and last to return at the end of a row.
  • If four shells or fewer are on the water, use of a safety boat is optional. If no safety boat is used, the individual acting as “Safety” during the row must be in one of the shells. The “Safety” must be an L2.
  • If no safety boat is in operation, only coastal boats can be used. The “Safety” must be in a double or quad, not a single.
  • Each shell is to have a working cell phone, safety flag and whistle.
  • Shells must stay close to shore.
  • At least one Level-2 rower (L2) must be in each boat launched.
  • Single shells are to be used only by L2 rowers.
  • Rower must be accompanied by a safety boat if using any flat water shell.  
  • Rowers with special health conditions should make the “Safety” aware of potential issues. The Safety may decide a safety boat should be used.
  • In the event of an emergency, the “Safety” may wave a red flag or use an air horn to signal all boats to return to dock.
  • In the event that a boat is going out too far or is too far away from the group, the “Safety” may point a white flag at the boat to instruct its rowers to adjust their course.
  • In the event of injury or property damage, the “Safety” will file an incident report with Rowing P.E.I. for submission to Rowing Canada.

 

Double on the Dock 

When only one coastal shell is going out, rowers will inform the Responsible Person on Shore of their departure, destination or direction of travel, and intended time of return. The rowers will notify the Responsible Person on Shore upon their return. We call this “Double on the Dock”. 

“Safety” and Safety Boat Operator  Qualifications

  • Each “safety” and safety boat operator must be familiar with the safety policies of Rowing PEI  and sign a commitment-to-safety pledge (see form attached as Appendix F).
  • They must hold valid first aid certificates. If operating a safety boat, the “Safety” must hold a valid Pleasure Craft Operators’ Card (PCOC) from Transport Canada.

Violations of the Safety Guidelines

  • Violations of the safety guidelines and other unsafe conduct or conditions are to be reported immediately to a “Safety,” the safety coordinator or to a Rowing PEI executive member. 
  • The person reporting or receiving the report will complete the Rowing Canada Incident report and submit it to the Safety Coordinator. 
  • Violating any part of the safety guidelines or engaging in other unsafe conduct may result in disciplinary action, including loss of membership. See Rowing PEI Discipline and Complaints Policy. 

 

Appendix A: Certification of scullers  

In order to be certified, a rower must meet the following criteria:

  • Learn to Row (LTR) rower must be enrolled in a Learn-To-Row course.
  • Level 1 Rower must successfully complete the LTR course as determined by a Learn-to-Row coach.
  • Level 2 Rower must successfully complete the LTR course and row with competence and confidence on open water as a Level 1.  An LTR coach or other experienced rower will recommend to the safety coordinator that an L1 rower has met L2 threshold requirements. The safety coordinator or designate will make a determination. The decision is based on the L2 Checklist.

 

Appendix B: Rower’s Safety Pledge 

 

I,                                                          , state that I have read and understand these Rowing PEI safety guidelines.  I understand the levels of certification and will abide by restrictions that accompany them. 

I further pledge to:

  • be responsible for my own safety.
  • log in and out all shells in the log book.
  • sign the waiver and pay insurance before rowing (If under the age of 18, I agree to have my parents present to also sign the waiver).
  • know the “Rules of the Water”  in Appendix C and obey them.  
  • always wear a PFD when rowing in a shell
  • follow the Water/Air Temperature Guidelines before any water operations.  
  • stay in sight of the Safety Boat       

 

       Rower’s Printed Name

 

____________________________________________________               

 

       Rower’s Signature

 

_____________________________________________________

 

Appendix C: Rules of the Water

Before going out

  • Be aware of incoming weather.  When weather looks questionable, ask the safety boat operator/safety person what their plans are.
  • Be aware of wind conditions: 15 km/h max for flat shells, 25 km/h max for coastal shells.  These are rule-of-thumb limits only. The safety person makes the final decision.
  • Shells and safety boats are to be used only during daylight, 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.
  • Rowing is forbidden within 30 minutes of thunder and lightning or when fog is present.
  • Rowing is forbidden when other unsafe conditions are apparent.
  • Be knowledgeable of beaching locations if required due to weather conditions or other situations that require you to put the boat on shore.
  • When only one shell is on the water, rowers will notify someone on land of their departure, destination or direction of travel, and expected time of return. Rowers will notify the person on land upon their safe return.
  • Lift and move boats carefully on and off vehicles, docks and support cradles. Tie boats securely to cradles during storage on docks, and tie securely to the trailer for transportation.
  • Check nuts and bolts on the shell to ensure they are tight and in good shape.
  • Check oars, riggers and shell for cracks or serious defects.
  • All rowers must wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Rowers under the age of 16 must wear a non-inflatable PFD.
  • It’s important to be as visible as possible. We encourage bright clothing and hats, especially at dawn and dusk. 
  • Rowers must wear footwear during rows or have footwear with them.
  • Get on and off the dock promptly.

On the water

  • Stay alert! Stay with your boat!
  • Be cautious exiting the yacht club docking area. Watch for other boats.  Large sailboats and pontoon boats come around the corner into the marina and may not see you coming out. 
  • Generally, rowing in Charlottetown harbour is conducted downstream and to the west of Charlottetown Yacht Club, along the shore. 
  • NEVER go in the channel. NEVER go under the Hillsborough Bridge. 
  • When multiple boats are supervised by one safety boat, rowers will remain within sight of the safety boat operators.
  • Safety boat operators may see things that a coxswain cannot. Communicate with one another.
  • Be aware of oncoming wake and be sure that a flat-water shell is parallel to the oncoming wake to prevent swamping.
  • Watch out for the buoys.  There can be a lot of current around buoys. Take that into account when going around buoys so you are not pushed into them. 
  • All rowers should be aware of the other traffic on the harbour. Large power boats, cruise ships and commercial vessels may NOT be looking for rowing shells. It’s important to stay out of their way. Don’t underestimate their speed. They can travel quickly.
  • If you should swamp or fall out of the boat, stay with the boat – it floats.  Do not swim for shore. Blow your whistle in 3 short bursts at regular intervals.  You may push the boat toward shore.  Always stay with your boat.
  • Be considerate, polite and cordial. Voices travel long distances over calm water.

Back at the dock

  • Sign the boat back in and report any damage incurred during the row. Inspect oars, riggers, and boat for any defects. If there are any, ask the safety or coach to record them in the log book.
  • Rinse and wipe down the boat with fresh water to clean off dirt and salt water, including seat rollers and track.

 

Appendix D: Operations in Cold Conditions

During shoulder seasons, rowers should always check the air and water temperatures before rowing. Generally, Grade 2 and 3 conditions apply for May and June, and may subsequently return in the fall. Grade 4 conditions are typical for July and August. 

All safety boat operators are required to confer and communicate the conditions before making the decision to conduct water operations, and proceed in groups.  

 

Grade 1 (Too cold) Conditions

No rowing if air temperature is below 0°C or water temperature is below 5°C.  

 

Grade 2 (Very cold) Conditions: 

If air temperature is above 0°C and the water temperature is between 5° and 10°C:

  • A safety boat must be used. The number of rowers must not exceed the seating capacity of the safety boat.
  • All crews are required to stay within 250m of each other and the safety boat, and close to shore.
  • Experienced rowers only.
  • Only coastal doubles and quads can be used.
  • Winds should be 15 km/h or less. 

 

Grade 3 (Cold) Conditions: 

If air temperature is above 0°C and the water temperature is between 10° and 15°C:

  • A safety boat must be used.
  • All crews are required to stay within sight of each other and the safety boat, and close to shore.
  • Only coastal boats are to be used.

 

Grade 4 (Warm) Conditions: 

When the air temperature is above 5°C and the water temperature is above 15°C:

  • Rows with coastal shells can be scheduled without an accompanying safety boat.
  • Flat water boats can be used, with an accompanying safety boat.

Hypothermia Table

Water Temperature in Degrees F (Degrees C) Loss of Dexterity (with no protective clothing) Exhaustion or Unconsciousness
32.5 to 40 (0.3 to 4.5) Under 3 min. 15 to 30 min.
40 to 50 (4.5 to 10) Under 5 min. 30 to 60 min.
50 to 60 (10 to 15.5) 10 to 15 min. 1 to 2 hrs.
60 to 70 (15.5 to 21) 30 to 40 min. 2 to 7 hrs.

Appendix E: Safety Boat Equipment

The following equipment must be on board the safety boat:  

  • Working cell phone to call 911
  • One PFD for every rower in the largest boat under the surveillance of that particular safety plus one PFD for each person in the safety boat.  
  • Emergency rescue blankets  
  • First aid kit
  • Waterproof high-intensity flashlight
  • Air horn or other loud warning device
  • Rescue throw bag with at least 10 metre line  
  • Day signal – international orange flag  
  • Fire extinguisher for class ABC
  • One oar
  • Anchor with at least 10 metres of line
  • Bailer
  • Red flag
  • Binoculars (recommended)

 

Appendix F: Safety Boat Operator’s Commitment-to-Safety Pledge 

I,                                                          , state that I have satisfactorily completed CPR and first aid training; and hold certificates for completing these courses. I also have a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card. I have read and understand this safety plan and watched the RCA Safety Video. I will teach safe boating practices and, to the best of my ability, will ensure the safety of all rowers. I further pledge to: 

  • Ensure that each shell and launch is checked in and out in the log book; 
  • Assist any rower needing assistance, including calling 9-1-1 or other emergency help as required, and will report within 24 hours injuries requiring medical attention to the President and Safety Coordinator; 
  • Submit a detailed incident report to the Rowing PEI board within 48 hours of any incident involving injury or property damage and must make a detailed incident report upon the board’s request.  
  • Ensure one L2 rower is in each boat.
  • Ensure each rower is wearing a PFD.
  • Follow the safety boat operator requirements outlined in the safety plan.
  • Attend an annual training session including operating the safety boat, reviewing the safety plan, watching the RCA safety video and reviewing the flow patterns and beaching plan.  

 

Date:       ______________________________________

 

Safety boat operator’s Printed Name

 

_________________________________________________

 

Safety boat operator’s Signature  

 

___________________________________________________