A. GENERAL SAFETY
1. All members need to be aware of the unique hazards associated with the sport of rowing; and members need to remain safety conscious at all times.
2. A signed waiver needs to be on file for all those participating in club activities.
3. All members are encouraged to view the US Rowing Safety Video every year.
B. CLUB STEWARDS
1. Every practice (whether regularly scheduled or other) must have, at minimum, one coach/steward in direct supervision throughout the practice. A list of coaches and stewards is posted in the boathouse.
2. The coach/steward has the authority to cancel program practices for safety reasons and shall otherwise exercise her/his advisory role.
3. As part of determining whether a practice should be canceled, the coach/steward shall obtain a current weather forecast to determine if severe weather is predicted.
C. SIGNING IN & OUT
1. All boats leaving the dock and returning need to sign out and in using the logbook in the boathouse. The log includes the date, time out, time in, boat class, and name of coach/responsible crew member. (The coxswain or bow seat rower in a blind boat is responsible for signing in & out).
1. All rowers are encouraged to wear bright colored clothing when on the water.
2. All boats that will be on the water before sunrise or after sunset shall have a working bow and stern light or other appropriate illumination.
E. RIVER TRAFIC PATTERN
1. All shells are to follow the set traffic pattern when on the water to avoid collisions with other boats. The traffic pattern is a right-hand-rule, which means counterclockwise and keeping to the starboard side of the river when going upstream and when coming downstream.
2. A map of the correct traffic pattern is on display in the boathouse.
3. Be aware that there is a dam down river of the dock (and a 2nd dam 5 miles upstream). Keep all boats away from the dams. No boats shall go within 100 yards of any dam.
1. All rowing will be canceled if lightning is seen or thunder is heard. Remain off the water for a full 30 minutes after thunder/lightning is observed.
2. If the boat is on the water when a storm hits, seek a safe location to wait out the storm.
3. If any one person in the boat wants to go back to the dock due to inclement weather, the boat should return immediately.
G. LOW VISIBILITY (FOG) & HIGH WINDS
1. Boats should not launch if visibility is less than 100 yards. If you cannot see the shore on the opposite side of the river then it is not advisable to launch.
2. If visibility diminishes while on the water, boats should keep in sight of the shore to maintain bearing and return to the dock at a reduced speed.
3. Do not launch with whitecaps on the river.
H. WATER TEMPERATURE
1. In the spring, the water temperature needs to be above 50 degrees F before small boats (double, pair, single) can launch from the club’s dock.
2. When the combined air and water temperature is below 80 degrees F, rowers need to use extra caution when out on the water, and should keep shells close to the shore line.
I. DUCK BLINDS
1. There are active duck hunting blinds along the Fox River. All rowers need to become familiar with the location of blinds and avoid the water close to shore during the hunting season.
2. If decoys are spotted, duck calls are heard, or shots are fired; steer clear and far away from shore in those areas.
J. HAZARD NOTIFICATION
1. Report all snags, debris, deadheads, and other obstructions or hazards observed in the water by leaving a note on the board in the boathouse.
K. SWIM TEST
1. General: Because rowing is a water sport, every club member needs to demonstrate their ability to swim and tread water by performing a swim test. (This includes coaches, coxswains, and SNC Crew.)
2. Test Administration: A certified lifeguard/water safety instructor is required to conduct the test.
3. Test Requirements: There are 3 parts to the swim test (all performed without touching the bottom):
50 yard swim (any stroke)
10 minutes of treading water
Putting on a life vest while in the water
4. Test Results: The test will be pass/fail for each of the 3 requirements and recorded on the LBVRC Swim Test form. If any of the 3 requirements is failed the deficient areas will be documented on the form and the member will be required to re-take the entire test. Retests can be conducted at any time. Completed test forms will be kept with the member’s profile in the boathouse. All stewards and coaches should be made aware of a member’s non-pass status.
5. Non-pass Status: If a member fails to pass any part of the swim test:
Can’t row in a small boat (single, double and pair).
Flotation device must be worn at all times while on the water.
Failure to pass the swim test within 2 months may result in denial of membership from the club at the discretion of the board.
6. Life Vest for Non-Swimmers: The Club will provide life vests to be used while rowing for those who have not passed the test.
7. Expiration: The swim test will be valid for 5 years, after which the member will need to re-test.
8. Others: New members joining the club will need to complete a swim test within 1 month after joining the club. LTR students won’t be required to take the swim test, but will be required to certify on the enrollment form that they are able to swim. Visiting guest rowers will need to certify on their information form that they are able to swim.
L. FLIP TEST:
1. Every rower who will be sculling a single shell is highly encouraged to perform a Flip Test.
2. The club will set up and arrange various opportunities for members to practice flipping in a single and getting back in the boat while still on the water.
3. It is recommended that the rowers watch a “rowing flip test” video on-line prior to attempting the flip test. A good example on You Tube is HERE!
4. Completed flip test forms will be kept with the member’s profile in the boathouse.
M. STRENGTH TEST
1. In order to ensure that rowers can safely lift a rowing shell over their head, an observed strength test will be administered by the club.
2. The test will be pass/fail and rowers will be tested on their ability to pick up 30 lbs. weight from off of the floor and lift it all the way over their head with arms fully extended, then back down to the floor without dropping the weight.
3. There are two 15 lbs. dumbbells at the boathouse that should be used to conduct the test.
4. If a member is unable to successfully complete the strength test, then this information will be passed on to the club stewards/coaches/coxswains so they will be able to manage line-ups and make adjustments when lifting and putting down boats accordingly.
5. Strength test results will be noted on the member’s Learn-to-Row enrollment form.
N. INCIDENT REPORTING
1. An Incident Report needs to be completed when a significant safety related event occurs, such as: collisions, near collisions, persons in the water, etc. Lessons learned and preventative measures are the focus.
2. If a medical/health incident, injury or other bodily harm occurs a separate Injury Report needs to be filed for each affected individual.
3. All reports will be reviewed and/or completed by the club’s safety committee members and will be passed to the board for review and necessary action. A copy of all reports will be kept on file in the boathouse.
4. Reporting is not required for minor wounds, such as calf bites, blisters, abrasions, etc. If any equipment is affected each individual rower is responsible for disinfecting contaminated gear, such as oar handles, or boat slide tracks.
1. All safety launches that will be on the water before sunrise or after sunset shall have a working navigational light.
2. All coaches and launch drivers need to wear a PFD (personal floatation device) when on the water.
3. It is recommended that a cellphone in a waterproof case be carried by those in the launch.
4. The safety launch will carry a kit with at least 9 additional PFDs to accommodate a rowing eight.
5. Other items that should be in the safety launch include: whistle or air horn, 50-foot line, boat anchor, thermal blankets, boat Ladder, first aid kit, tool kit, paddle, bail bucket
6. Navigation Rules – All Wisconsin boating regulations governing the registration and titling of motor launches, navigation lights, traffic rules, speed restrictions and the like are incorporated into these rules by reference. Wisconsin boating regulations are available HERE!
P. EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT
1. Club members should familiarize themselves with the location of emergency equipment in the boathouse area.
a. There are two AED’s (automated external defibrillators) available near the boathouse: one is in the Campus Center, the other is in St. Joseph Church down the hall from the front door at the north end of the building.
b. A first aid kit is available in the boathouse as well as in the safety launch.
c. A fire extinguisher is located inside the boathouse near the main doors.
d. For instances of hypothermia: There are thermal blankets kept in the boathouse.
e. For instances of heat stroke: The boathouse has a garden hose for cool water as well as buckets and towels.
f. There is an emergency call box on the concrete patio just outside of the boathouse. In order to reach SNC Campus Security just press the button and wait for Campus Security to answer on the intercom.
g. On the profile sheet for each individual member there is a section that documents any significant health history concerns or conditions that need to be taken into consideration.
Q. SAFE SPORT
1. If any person witnesses, becomes aware of, or is subjected to instances of bullying, hazing, harassment, or inappropriate behavior (physical, emotional, sexual), then these instances should be reported immediately to a coach, steward, or member of the board.
2. A list of contact information for coaches, stewards, and board members is posted in the boathouse.
3. Any reported Safe Sport Incident will be handled in accordance with the US Rowing Safe Sport policy.