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How to Enjoy Rowing Safely – Part 2

Athletics carrying a crew canoe over heads

The second edition of our blog on how to enjoy your rowing safely, looks at issues such as how to assess the water and weather conditions, and how to plan for the unexpected and emergency situations. We will also address general precautions you must take when taking your boat out on the water.

How to Assess the Water Conditions

If you are thinking of going a little more off the beaten track with your boat and not just rowing on your local marina, then you must learn how to assess the water conditions where you are going. This can be done by asking yourself these pertinent questions.

  • What is the condition of the water before and after obstacles such as bridges, locks, and weirs?
  • How fast does the water rise or fall along your selected route?
  • How shallow or deep is the lake, river, or selected water?
  • Are there any emergency systems in place along your route that will alert you to surges of the water?
  • Are there any warning limits and can you be informed of if the water reaches these limits?

As well as the water conditions the weather has to be assessed also, as this directly affects the water as well. If you know the local weather forecasts, then you can either be prepared or even cancel your trip.

Planning for Emergencies

To enjoy your rowing to the max it is best to be fully prepared each and every time you go out for emergencies. And the following is a short list of the priorities you must be aware of.

  • Mobile phones should be fully charged.
  • Guidelines should be set for what to do if you have a collision and your boat sinks.
  • If you are taking part in a group tour then it is a good idea to have a land team with the capability to be able to assist in case of emergencies.
  • Each boat must have the capacity to rescue any individuals in need.
  • Every individual should have local rescue services contact details stored in their phones.

Other General Safety Precautions

There are more general safety precautions that can also be taken to ensure you have a hassle free time in your boating enjoyment. A good idea if you are part of a group is that all boats keep visible eye contact with the boat in front and behind.

If any of your group has medical experience they should be identified to all, so people know who to turn to if medical care is needed. By the same token, members of the group that have boating repair skills should also be identified before the party sets off. It may seem that all this preparation and precaution is a little like scare mongering but far from it. Being well prepared allows for hassle free boating as every eventuality is taken care of. This in turn will give you hours and hours of pleasurable rowing and make your favorite pastime the best it can possibly be.