Rowing Ireland Water Safety Code

1. Every Club, School, College and Regatta (hereafter reference will only be made to Club) shall appoint a Safety Adviser whose duty it will be to understand the notes and the requirements of the Rowing Ireland Code of Practice for Water Safety and advise on their prominent display at all times, their observation and their implementation.

1.1  Breaches of the code are to be identified and advised in writing to the offender, giving a period for correction.

2. There shall be prominently displayed in every Club and Boathouse, and Regatta secretary’s office a list of vital telephone numbers relating to safety in general.

·      EMERGENCY SERVICES – ‘112’ OR ‘999’

·      Fire, Police, Ambulance, list details of information to be given, viz: situation, access, details

·      Doctors

·      Local hospital casualty department

·      River rescue services (if available)

·      Local river or harbour police

·      Lifeguards

·      Clear directions to the nearest alternative telephone point shall also be displayed.

3. Safety and First Aid equipment shall be readily available in every Club boathouse to include –

·      First Aid Box (to be fully stocked, contents listed and replaced, as used, box contents to be checked monthly).

·      Thermal/exposure blankets

·      Life buoys and rescue lines/throw-bags

·      Life jackets

4. All clubs shall ensure that they carry and maintain adequate comprehensive insurance to cover personal injury to members on and off the water and personal injury and damage to property or third parties. There should be included in these policies adequate cover for the Safety Adviser.

5. Visual aids on water safety, life saving and resuscitation procedures, as may be provided by Rowing Ireland ,Irish Watersafety Council or other organisations with the approval of Rowing Ireland, are to be displayed prominently.

6. Every Club providing rowing or sculling facilities shall draw up and display a plan of the local waterway, drawing attention to the applicable navigation rules and any local interpretation required to accommodate particular hazards. Instructions shall be included on any variation in normal procedures necessary to combat tidal, stream, wind or other climatic conditions that may arise locally.

7. An accident log is to be maintained and be available for inspection at all times, giving time, place and nature of accident, injuries/damages sustained and names and addresses of witnesses. All cases of accident involving injury shall be notified in writing to the Provincial Branch and copied to the Rowing Ireland Headquarters using the standard pro-formas available.

8. Observance of these requirements is obligatory and the Safety Adviser will monitor their observance and advise on breaches in writing to the club, college or school committee or officer responsible. Copies should be sent to the appropriate Provincial Branch and the party(ies) concerned with the breach. Inspection of arrangements and facilities will be made from time to time by appointees of the Provincial Branch and/or Officers of Rowing Ireland, who will have the power to recommend in writing corrective measures or suspension of activity wherever and whenever appropriate.

9. The following paragraphs relate to specific aspects of the sport that, for convenience, have been grouped under separate headings for ease of reference.

10. For the safety of all concerned, rowing equipment should be maintained in good order. Particular attention is to be paid to the following:

11. Every boat must at all times carry firmly attached to its bows a white ball of not less than 4cm diameter made of rubber or material of similar consistency. Where the construction or nature of the boat is such that the bow is properly protected or its shape does not present a hazard then this requirement need not apply.

12. Heel restraints and “quick-release” mechanisms must be in proper and effective working order in all boats equipped with fitted shoes.

13. For evening outings, rowing after sunset, boats shall be fitted with lights as required by the Department of the Marine or other statutory authority.

14. Check oars and sculls to ensure that “buttons” are secure and properly set.

15. Buoyancy compartments, bow and stern canvasses, etc., must be checked to ensure that they will function as intended.

Oarsmen, Scullers & Coxswains
16. All persons participating in rowing or sculling must be in good health and able to swim a minimum of 100m in light clothing and shoes.

17. Physically challenged athletes participating in organised rowing or sculling activities must be provided with suitable rescue facilities to cope with any accident whilst afloat.

18. All coxswains shall wear a life jacket (conforming to BS3595 standard) or a buoyancy aid of approved design at all times when on the water. Coxswains in “front-loader” positions must wear life jackets that allow them easy escape from their position.

19. A coach is not only concerned to coach his crews. He has a responsibility for their safety at all times whilst they are in his charge.

20. A coach shall ensure that every member of the crews, of which he has charge, is aware of the appropriate safety procedures at all times.

21. Coaches shall ensure that every member of the crew, including the coxswain, is dressed suitably and adequately protected for the weather conditions they are likely to encounter.

22. Coaches and coaching launch drivers shall wear life jackets (conforming to BS3595 standard) or buoyancy aids when accompanying crews and at other times whilst afloat.

23. All coaching launches and safety boats shall carry the following safety aids:

·      A bailer, and, for inflatable rubber dinghies, a suitable inflation pump and a spare inflation valve.

·      A sound signalling warning device, capable of attracting attention over at least 200 metres.

·      A grab line at least 15m (50ft) long with a large knot tied in one end to assist throwing (ideally a purpose made rescue/heaving line – ‘throw bag’).

·      Thermal exposure blankets.

·      Life buoys and blankets.

·      A basic first aid kit (contents recorded and checked as before).

·      A sharp knife in carrying sheath.

·      A paddle.

·      Simple handholds fixed to the side of the launch to give help to any person being rescued and provide self-help should the driver fall overboard.

·      Engine cut-out lanyard device.

·      Anchor and line.

24. Any activity after dark involving coaching launches requires the launches to be fitted with lights as laid down in the International

Prevention of Collision Regulations or as prescribed by the appropriate navigation authority.

Regattas and Processional Races
25. All Regattas shall appoint a Safety Adviser whose duty shall be to advise on the observance of the Rowing Ireland Code of Practice for Water Safety.

26. No regatta, processional race or sponsored row shall take place without full and prior consultation between the organisers, the river or harbour authority, as is appropriate, the police, ambulance services, life saving and first aid organisations to ensure that adequate safety measures are in force.

27. All Regattas shall appoint a suitable qualified and equipped person to be Medical Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring that medical support is accessible to the regatta.

28. Safety boats suitable for the task of rescue manned by persons trained in boat handling and rescue techniques, and properly equipped, shall be available throughout the period of the regatta and during practice. They should be sufficient in number and so placed that rapid assistance and recovery can be provided wherever the need occurs. Numbers and location for craft should be discussed with the rescue services beforehand.

29. Officials and competitors shall be informed of local hazards and traffic rules shall be displayed and brought to the notice of competitors. Telephone numbers of police, ambulance, medical and fire services shall be prominently displayed together with the location of the nearest telephone.

30. Umpire’s launches shall carry a life-buoy and line (throw-bag), thermal/exposure blanket and first aid equipment (listed and recorded as before).

31. Umpires shall wear life jackets (conforming to BS3595 standard) or buoyancy aids of approved design at all times when carrying out duties on the water.

32. Procedures to be followed in the case of accident or emergency shall be prepared and communicated to competitors and officials in their instructions.


2.1 The role of Safety Advisers for clubs, schools and colleges and other centres of organised rowing and sculling will be to give guidance on, and encourage understanding and compliance with, the following –

2.1.1 In addition to the specific requirements set out in the Code of Practice for Water Safety, those who organise rowing and sculling for others are responsible for ensuring the observance and understanding of the following requirements by all concerned. Equipment All equipment for rowing, sculling and coaching shall be properly maintained to ensure that it is safe for its intended purpose and does not expose the user to danger. Particular attention should be given to the following:

·      As far as is practical, boats and equipment should be stored in well lit premises in such a way as to minimise the possibility of damage to persons or equipment on removal and return.

·      When any boat is placed on the water and before embarkation, it should be checked to ensure that it is in a safe condition and that its moving parts are in working order, viz:

·      Check for leaks.

·      Check buoyancy compartments, seals and ventilation bungs.

·      Check outriggers, swivels, seats and stretchers for security.

·      Check that heel release mechanisms are effective, i.e., quick release devices and heel restraints.

·      Check rudder lines, steering mechanism, rudder and fin to ensure that everything is secure and in good working order.

·      Check oars and sculls for damage and ensure that “buttons” are securely and properly set.

·      Heel Release Mechanism – Where boats are fitted with “shoes” an effective release mechanism must be in place to ensure that the heels are released immediately a strain is put upon them consequent to accident or injury involving boat or person. Heel restraint cords/straps should be correctly adjusted and members instructed in the technique of release in the event of capsize.

·      Laced Shoes – check that laces are adequate to hold foot firm but check also that shoes are not over tied immobilising and trapping the foot as a result. It is recommended that lace-ups be replaced by “velcro” straps.

·      Velcro Shoes – check for wear in the Velcro strapping and replace regularly.

(Initial instruction of rowers and scullers should be given in boats without fitted shoes. Clogs or stretcher boards are recommended for beginners).

·      Maintenance – to maintain equipment in a sound and usable condition requires those organising rowing to establish procedures whereby damage to equipment is notified to responsible officials without delay and the damage repaired before the equipment is used again. Damaged equipment should be marked or “quarantined” to ensure that it is not used by others unaware of the damage. Education – All participants in rowing and sculling should receive proper instruction in watermanship and in rowing and sculling technique including capsize and accident drills from the qualified supervision of coaches or of experienced members so that no person puts him/herself or others at risk when on the water. Junior members and novices should be given particular attention.

The coaching of coxswains in waterman-ship and water safety procedures as set out in the Rowing Ireland basic coaching award is essential.

Every encouragement should be given to rowers, scullers and coaches to become fully conversant with life saving and resuscitation techniques through practice and by attendance at duly recognised training courses such as those offered by the Voluntary Aid Organisations and the Royal Life Saving Society. It is strongly recommended that Safety Advisers receive formal training. Life saving and resuscitation skill training forms part of the Rowing Ireland basic coaching courses in which all participants in the sport should participate. Adverse weather conditions – Rowing and sculling are by their nature outdoor activities and as such are subject to the vagaries of weather in all its forms. It is important to recognise that contending with difficult weather conditions is part of the sports attraction and it is not the intention of these guidance notes to change this. However. safe enjoyment is the aim, not foolhardiness.

·      It is recommended that the Safety Adviser or senior member present appointed for the club shall have and exercise the authority to advise the suspension of boating activity should s/he believe the conditions unsafe for whatever reason.

·      The direction of relevant authorities with regard to the inherent dangers in the weather conditions prevailing are to be observed at all times.

·      Where rough water conditions are likely to be encountered during outings, a bailer or sponge should be carried within the boat.

·      After all outings, “bungs” or buoyancy compartment traps should be removed to allow ventilation. Such items must be kept with the boat. Night Rowing – Rowing or sculling after nightfall is dangerous and should not be encouraged. When it is necessary. crews and scullers should be accompanied by a coach, on the bank, or in an accompanying launch. Craft must be properly illuminated as required by the relevant river authority, or the Department of the Marine. Unescorted Outings – Every effort should be made by those organising rowing and sculling to maintain a log of those boating from their premises unescorted or “out of hours”. Such a record gives an indication of craft on the water, intended length and direction of

outing, which may be of assistance in the event of mishap. Community – Rowing and sculling activities should be carried out, at all times, with an awareness, by the participants, of the rights of others who share the water. Every effort should be made by

regular meetings, to co-ordinate activities and so minimise clashes of interests and the possibilities of accidents.

2.2 Safety for the Individual

All active rowers and scullers shall:

·      Satisfy their Medical Officer that they are in good health and be able to demonstrate that they can swim a minimum

      distance of 100 metres in light clothing and shoes.

·      Comply with the Rowing Ireland Code of Practice for water safety.

·      Acquaint him/herself fully with and obey rules of navigation both local and statutory.

·      Maintain their rowing equipment in good order and check that it is in a safe condition before use.

·      Ensure that beginners to the sport are not allowed to use equipment without adequate and prior instruction and are not allowed to boat unsupervised.

·      Be constantly aware of the rights of others to the free use of the water and extend to them at all times the courtesy they would similarly wish to receive. It is recommended that active members should learn and practice capsize and accident drills. Every opportunity should be taken lo learn simple first aid, life saving and resuscitation techniques.

Single scullers (apart from beginners on the water under supervision) are responsible for their own safety and actions and must observe the requirements of the Rowing Ireland Code of Practice for water safety.

2.3 The Responsibilities of the Steersman or woman and the Coxswain

All persons steering a boat are responsible for the crew in their charge. Coxswains should comply with the following:

·      Every coxswain shall be able to swim and to demonstrate that ability when called upon by the Safety Officer

·      All coxswains shall wear a life jacket (conforming to BS3595 standard) or buoyancy aid of approved design, when the water both in training and in competition. Where coxswains are located in the bows of boats, care must be taken in the choice of life jacket to ensure that the coxswain is not restricted when exiting from the boat.

·      All coxswains shall be able to satisfy their Safety Adviser that they are in good health with adequate vision and sound hearing. No-one who is subject to epileptic fits or blackouts shall steer a boat. In cases of doubt, medical advice should be obtained.

·      Dress suitable for the prevailing conditions must be worn. Particular care should be taken to ensure warmth around the head, neck and lower back, wrists and ankles and the clothing should be water and windproof. Water resistant outer gloves are recommended but bulky and heavy clothing and “Wellington” type boots are to be avoided.

·      Be aware of the dangers and symptoms of hypothermia. (See advisory notes on Hypothermia).

·      Voice projection and radio communication equipment, when carried in the boat must be securely fixed to the boat, not the coxswain. Similarly, in competition, deadweights when required must not be attached to the coxswain.

Steering a boat, in training or in a race is a highly responsible role, very often entrusted to young and inexperienced coxswains or rowers with little or no experience of steering. The steersman is responsible for the actions of the boat being steered. Commands have to be given and discipline exerted. The following represents the knowledge that the steersman/woman must develop.

Steersmen or women must:

·      Learn and use simple commands for boat control both on and off the water. Use them correctly, clearly and instinctively. Understand the basic commands and signals of other river users.

·      Understand and carry out all safety procedures and regulations applicable to the water they use, especially those

      relating to right of way, power boats, sailing craft, etc.

·      Understand and observe local navigation rules of the river or water.

·      On unfamiliar water, become acquainted with local regulations and practices and of the existence, nature and location of particular hazards before going afloat.

·      Be conversant with safely and rescue procedures in the case of an accident.

·      Recognise and respect the rights and needs of other water users, especially anglers.

·      Watch out for swimmers at all times.

·      Watch out for unexpected floating objects.

·      Know and have practised capsize and man overboard drills

2.4 The Responsibilities of the Coach

A coach shall ensure that every member of the crews being coached follows the appropriate safety procedures at all times, and the coach shall observe them to ensure the crews’ safety. In particular, coaches should:

·      Be aware of the local Code of Practice.

·      Ensure that crews are using safe rowing equipment.

·      Be aware of weather and water conditions and arrange the outing to avoid any danger.

·      Watch out for any hazards the crews may meet. It is often easier for the coach, who is higher above the water than the members of the crew, to see swimmers or similar hazards ahead. Draw the attention of the coxswain or steersman to such hazards and not merely attempt to influence any steering decision that has to be made.

·      Showing consideration for other water users is very much the responsibility of the coach, both in regard to the coaching launch and to the boats being coached.

·      Coaches of young children shall ensure that the whole crew, and not just the coxswain, are dressed suitably. Youngsters are unlikely to be able to generate a high level of body warmth during their first outings and need more protection.

·      When crews are rowing away from their home water, the coach shall ascertain the local code of practice and, at

      regattas, any special traffic rules to be observed, and ensure crews fully understand them.

·      Coaches should pay particular attention to the coaching of coxswains. Not only is a competent coxswain important to the crew’s success; competence is essential for their safety on the water.

·      Every coach should know capsize and accident drills and be prepared to assist or rescue any member who is in difficulties is injured, or appears to be suffering from hypothermia or

      exhaustion. Every time the coach goes out in a coaching launch, check that it is fully equipped with safety equipment and know how to use it.

·      When coaching from a launch, the coach and driver must wear life jackets or buoyancy aids of approved design.

·      Every coach shall learn life-saving and resuscitation

      procedures as set out in the Rowing Ireland basic coaching award.

Coaches of beginners and especially of crews of young children have an extra responsibility. Those who are new to the sport are likely to concentrate on their own rowing to the exclusion of all else, and are thus less likely to be aware of approaching danger. Coaches of school crews, when dealing with several crews of young novices on the water together must be especially concerned with their safety. It is very easy for the first crew that gets boated to get into difficulties whilst the coach is supervising further crews getting onto the water. Beginners, whether in crews or sculling boats, should never be

allowed on the water unsupervised.

2.5 Coaching Launches

Coaching from a launch or inflatable craft has now become commonplace. The presence of a coaching launch gives far better safety protection to a crew than a coach on a bicycle, on the bank. but raises the need to ensure competent driving, the safety of those on board the coaching craft, and awareness of the effect upon other water users of the coaching craft’s activities.

i) Training Drivers – To take out an engine-powered boat without

previous tuition is to put the driver, any passengers and other water users at risk. The Royal Yachting Association holds courses in

handling powered boats and issues certificates of competence. It is strongly recommended that no-one should drive a launch without first having taken a course of instruction. At the very least the club shall ensure that an experienced driver goes out with a new driver until he has shown that he is fully in control of the launch. N.B. The manner in which launches are manoeuvred and generally handled may create unnecessary problems for other water users. Excessive washes

create impossible conditions for other water users and can cause

accidents to smaller boats. Thoughtless driving often causes damage to moored boats and to river banks. To use launches for coaching, rescue and other purposes all on the same water, requires drivers to be fully aware of the effect of the wash they cause and the risk that the very sport they are seeking to assist cannot take place because their manner of driving their boat has made the water unusable.

 ii) All coaching launches and safety boats shall carry the following safety aids:

a)   A bailer and, for inflatable rubber dinghies. a suitable pump and a spare valve
b) A klaxon horn or similar warning device, capable of attracting attention over a distance of at least 200 metres.
c) A grab line at least 15 metres (50 feet) long with a large knot tied in one end to assist throwing. Ideally a purpose made rescue/heaving line throw-bag.
d) Thermal/exposure blankets to reduce windchill and counteract hypothermia. Make use of proprietary items but not woollen blankets which only absorb moisture and do not then retain heat. In the absence of recognised equipment, polythene sheet cut to the size of a commercially available exposure bag will provide the necessary level of heat retention until proper treatment can begin.
e) Life buoys/Life jackets. These are essential when several people are in the water and the launch can attend to only one at a time.
f) A basic first aid kit (list contents and check regularly as before).
g) A sharp knife with carrying sheath.
h) A paddle.
i) Simple handholds fixed to the side of a launch to give help to any person being rescued, and provide self-help should the driver fall overboard.
j) Engine, cut-out lanyard device.
k) An anchor and line.

  iii) When it is necessary for outings to take place in the dark or in poor visibility the launch must carry a waterproof torch and sound

signalling system as a means of signalling. The boat must be fitted with lights as laid down in current legislation.

  iv) Buoyancy aids or life jackets shall be worn at all times and are essential for launches going out to sea or on very wide stretches of water. Life jackets which depend on oral inflation should be worn partly inflated; those which have auto inflation must be checked at intervals suggested by the manufacturers.

  v) Maintenance of the boat and its engine is vital, since the possible consequences of failure are too great. The driver and his passengers are dependent upon the efficient working of the engine and the good condition of the launch for the proper execution of their duties. Drivers and coaches should know how the engine works, and a box with

basic tools and spare parts (in particular spark plugs and a spark- plug spanner) should always be carried to enable running repairs to be done and simple replacements to be made. The tool/spare parts box should be kept dry and checked regularly (an extra can of

pre-mixed fuel is also a vital spare). It is a wise precaution to check that the engine is securely fixed to the hull and that the secondary safety fixing is properly attached every time the boat is used.

  vi) Choice of a launch, its hull size and its shape, must be matched to an engine suitable for the work it is to undertake and the load to be carried. In particular, launches to be used for coaching on rivers or enclosed waters must be of a design which will enable a launch to accompany a crew rowing at speed without causing a wash that makes the water unusable for everyone else.


 3.1 No regatta, processional race, or sponsored row shall take place without prior consultation by the organisers with the appropriate

navigation or harbour authority, local police, life saving, lifeguard, ambulance authorities and first aid organisation and such other

appropriate bodies to ensure that the event can take place under

conditions which are safe for competitors and the general public alike.

 3.2 A suitable person shall be appointed as Safety Adviser to advise on the observance of the Rowing Ireland Code of Practice for Water Safety and its implementation by regattas, processional races and other events organised under the auspices of Rowing Ireland.

 3.3 All regattas shall appoint a suitably qualified and equipped

Medical Officer to be responsible for ensuring that proper medical support is available and accessible throughout the period of the event, so organised that rapid assistance can be provided wherever the need arises.

 3.4 It is recommended that safety boats suitable for the task of

rescue manned by trained personnel and properly equipped are

present throughout the period of the event and during official periods of training. They must be sufficient in number, fully mobile and placed so that in case of accident or distress, assistance can be provided without delay.

 3.5 Instructions to officials and to competitors should inform of traffic rules, and identify local hazards. A plan of the course illustrating

important features should be provided and the telephone numbers of police, ambulance, medical and fire services shall be prominently

displayed together with the location of the nearest telephone.

 3.6 The racing course should be marked with clearly visible buoys, as required by the appropriate navigation or harbour authority and the navigation channel for other passing river users must be similarly marked. Notices should be displayed prominently to warn other water users of the event and the actions expected of them.

 3.7 Where races are umpired from launches, the instructions to

Umpires shall clearly state that in the event of accident the Umpire’s first duty is to the safety of the competitor or any person in difficulty.

 3.8 Umpires’ launches shall carry a life ring and line (throw-bag), thermal/exposure blanket and first aid equipment and other items as listed in paragraph 23 of the code.

 3.9 Instructions to officials shall set out procedures to be followed in the event of accidents. These should be brought to the notice of competitors so far as is practicable.


  4.1 Avoidance must be the first consideration at all times.

Hypothermia occurs when the whole of the body has been chilled to a much lower than normal temperature, i.e. below 35°C compared with the normal body temperature of 37°C.

  4.2 Dress to beat the cold – Layers of clothing are more effective than one warm garment. The outer layer should be wind and waterproof.

  4.3 Do not take or give alcohol in cold conditions. Alcohol

accelerates heat loss as well as impairing judgement.

  4.4 Be alert to the warning signs of cold both in yourself and others. Coaches of young children must be particularly aware of the risks to their charges of exposure to cold. Exposed arms, legs and head heighten the risk.

  4.5 If a person has fallen into cold water their body will lose heat rapidly. To reduce heat loss keep clothes on except heavy coats or boots which may drag the person down.

  4.6 Sudden immersion in cold water can have a shock effect that can disrupt normal breathing, reducing even a proficient swimmer to incompetence. Confusion and an inability to respond to simple

instructions will become evident.

  4.7 When hypothermia is suspected your aims must be to prevent the casualty losing more body heat and to re-warm the casualty.

  4.8 Send for help. Hypothermia is a medical emergency whether the patient is conscious or unconscious.

4.8.1 If conscious the victim should be actively re-warmed under careful observation.

4.8.2 If unconscious the victim must be got to medical aid as soon as possible. Follow instructions given under section 5 – Resuscitation.

  4.9 Symptoms and signs of hypothermia
The following are the most usual symptoms and signs, but all may not be present:

      a) Unexpected and unreasonable behaviour possibly

      accompanied by complaints of coldness and tiredness.
b) Physical and mental lethargy with failure to understand a question or orders.
c) Slurring of speech.
d) Violent outburst of unexpected energy and violent

      language, becoming uncooperative.
e) Failure of, or abnormality in, vision.
f) Twitching.
g) Lack of control of limbs, unsteadiness and complaining of numbness and cramp.
h) General shock with pallor and blueness of lips and nails.
i) Slow weak pulse, wheezing and coughing.

  4.10 A very dangerous situation is still present when a person who has been in the water for some time is taken out. Further heat loss must be prevented. The victim should be protected against wind and rain if possible. Re-warming can be carried out by –

i)          Wrapping the victim in a thermal/exposure blanket.

ii)          Others placing their warm bodies against the victim.

iii)         Giving hot drinks (if conscious).



  5.1 To be effective, resuscitation must be started immediately, even whilst the patient is in the water, otherwise irreversible damage or death will occur within a few minutes. Many thousands of lives have been saved by ordinary citizens who have known what to do and have had the courage to do it at the critical time.

  5.2 The saving of life during a medical emergency depends on the accurate assessment and proper management of the ABC of



On finding a person requiring resuscitation:


 5.3.1. Establish there is no danger to yourself or the patient. If you see someone in difficulties in the water DO NOT go into the water after him. Remember there may be neck or back injuries requiring extra care when moving the patients.

 5.3.2.   a) Look for something to help pull him out – stick, rope or              clothing.

b) Lie down to prevent being pulled in.

c) If you cannot reach him, throw any floating object – football, plastic bottle – for him to hold on to, then fetch help.

d) If you are in a safety launch carefully approach him if it is safe to do so.



 5.3.3. Assess the patient

·      Responsiveness – Establish responsiveness by shouting “ARE YOU ALRIGHT” loudly and gently shaking the


·      Breathing

– Inspect the airway – remove blood, vomit, loose teeth or

broken dentures but leave well fitting dentures in place.
– Open the airway – the rescuer should place two fingers

beneath the point of the patient’s chin, lift the jaw and at the same time place the palm of the other hand on the patient’s forehead. Tilt the head well back by pressing on the forehead and the airway will open.
– Check for breathing by placing your ear close to the

patient’s mouth, looking down along the line of the chest.

·         Listen for the sound of breathing.

·         Feel for air movement indicating breathing.

·         Look for rising and falling of the chest.

·         Circulation Check for the presence of a pulse by feeling for the carotid artery in the neck. The artery lies along each side of the voice box (larynx).

 5.3.4. If the patient is unresponsive, not breathing with no pulse – leave the patient immediately and go and telephone for help (dial 999 or 112). Return to the patient and commence resuscitation.

If the patient is unresponsive, not breathing but with a pulse – perform ten mouth to mouth (expired air resuscitation) breaths, then leave the patient and go and telephone for help (dial 999 or 112). Return to the

patient, check for breathing and pulse and continue resuscitation.

If the patient is unresponsive but is breathing and has a pulse turn on his side into the recovery position.

The Recovery Position

Kneel to one side of the patient. Take the nearest arm and place it at 90° to his body, elbow bent and palm uppermost. Take the farthest arm and place it with the palm outwards held against the casualty’s cheek. Bend the far knee upwards to 90°, keeping the foot flat on the ground. Supporting the hand on the face, pull gently but firmly on the bent up thigh to roll the patient towards you. Rearrange the far side, now upper leg to 90° and ensure the airway is still open by tilting the head and lifting the chin.

Resuscitation Procedure

This is the provision of an artificial ventilation by mouth to mouth breathing, and an artificial circulation by external chest compressions.

Mouth to Mouth Breathing (Expired Air Resuscitation)

·      Lie the patient on his back.

·      Kneel beside the head of the patient and open the airway by lifting the head and lifting the jaw. Open the patient’s mouth and pinch the nostrils closed. Open your mouth, take a deep breath, seal your mouth firmly over the patient’s mouth and breath out steadily into the patient. Watch the patient’s chest rise as if he is taking a deep breath l2 seconds. Remove your mouth from the patient’s mouth and allow the chest to fall (4 seconds). Give two breaths.

·      If mouth-to-mouth breathing is difficult, check and reposition the airway.

Vomiting may occur if breathing returns, place the patient in the recovery position to prevent him from choking.

External Chest Compression

Place the patient flat on his back and kneel alongside the chest. Place the heel of one hand on the lower third of the breastbone. Place the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand. With your arms held straight and the hands on the chest all of the time, press down on the breastbone to depress it 4-5cm, then release.

Compress the chest smoothly, 15 times at a rate of approximately 80 compressions per minute. After 15 compressions give 2 ventilations. Continue the compressions and the ventilations, until help arrives. Do not stop to reassess the patient’s pulse or breathing until help arrives.


Remember that effective resuscitation training is essential; the

foregoing text is only a guide/aide memoire to the practice of

resuscitation, which you are strongly recommended to learn. Contact your local St John or Red Cross for practical instruction in First Aid and resuscitation.


The role of the club Safely Adviser will be to ensure that all members who transport boats either on cars (sculling boat) or tow the club trailer are conversant with the requirements for safe and legal movement of boats by road. To this end they should conduct a safety audit at regular intervals. As a guide the items listed in paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2 should be included in the audit.


6.1.1 Liaise with the Secretary/Treasurer to check that there is adequate insurance cover in force. If the club owns a tow vehicle it may be useful to have a photocopy of the current insurance certificate in a protective envelope in the vehicle.

6.1.2 Ensure that the club has available a copy of the  ‘THE TOWING OF BOAT TRAILERS’ as a reference document.

6.1.3 Check that the trailer has been lubricated and serviced regularly and that the tyres are in good condition including the spare.

6.1.4 Ensure there are adequate ties and rear projection markers available.


6.2.1 Check that drivers are aware of the maximum load to be carried on the trailer.

6.2.2 Check that in the event of a rear projection in excess of 1.00m there is an extra rear light available for use during the hours of darkness.

6.2.3 Check availability of nose weight measuring facility.

Main Sponsors:

Business Suppliers: