Section 2 - Safety Practices

Running an organization with people from all kinds of backgrounds working in , on, and near the river requires procedures and policies which are extensive yet flexible.  These rules are 'live' in that they change as the club encounters new issues or changes in the environment.  Please select from the Table of Contents to the right.2.1 General Rowing Rules


2.1 General Rowing Rules

    a. All members, coaches, coxswains, and visitors/guests must sign a liability waiver before being allowed on the water and thereafter annually.
         US Rowing Online Waiver:
         CPRA Club Access Code: SFDUM

    b. All rowers must pass a swim test or wear an approved life jacket before being allowed on the water. Those that are required to wear an approved life jacket because they have not passed the swim test MUST provide and wear their own life jacket at all times near or on the water.

    c. All rowers and guests must sign in and out of the logbook when using any club boats. Private boat owners are encouraged to use the logbook for communication of their whereabouts on the river and personal safety.

    d. If at all possible, do not row alone

    e. The coxswain should be the only person IN the boat giving commands. If no coxswain, the bow person gives commands, directs the rowers, and signs the logbook.

2.2  Clothing

    a. For visibility and safety, wear bright colors.

    b. Wear flexible clothing (no jeans).

    c. In cold weather:

        1. Wear several layers of clothing.  Fabrics should be breathable.  Cotton should be avoided.

        2. Wear a hat.  Heat is lost quickly from the head.

    d. Wear a hat or visor in direct sun.

    e. Carry a water bottle in warm weather.

2.3   Commands

    a. Before getting into the boat, be sure you know in which seat, by number, you are sitting.

    b. The following basic commands apply:  Bow and stern; port and starboard; tie in and untie; ready all, row; way enough; port (or starboard) to row, starboard (or port) to back.

    c. The WAY ENOUGH – HOLD WATER command is used when there is an immediate need to stop rowing because of imminent danger.

2.4   Boathouse behavior

    a. No rowdy behavior, horseplay or any behavior likely to cause injury to persons or damage to property is permitted.

    b. No alcohol is permitted to be brought to or consumed on the premises or in any CPRA boat except in connection with CPRA-sanctioned events and parties.

    c. No weapons, knives (over 4 inches) or firearms of any description are permitted in CPRA facilities or equipment.

2.5   Emergencies

    a. DIAL 911

    b. Report the nature of the accident.  Be able to answer the following questions:

        1. Your location

        2. How many people involved and/or missing

        3. Age and gender of people

        4. Victims breathing or conscious

        5. Is CPR being performed/required

        6. Time of incident

        7. How many boats involved

        8. Name of contact person and contact information

    c. Request ambulance as required

2.6   Additional Safety Guidelines

    a. A launch must accompany the use of any CPRA boat unless one-half of the crew has received proper certification to take out a boat unaccompanied.

    b. If by chance a boat flips or sinks, under no circumstances should a  rower in the water leave the floating boat.  If unable to reenter boat, swim with the boat to shore.  EXCEPTION:  You are faced with a  worse life-threatening danger by staying with boat (for example:  approaching dam). If the boat has flipped, the rower(s) must notify the  coach and Equipment Chair. The boat’s condition will need to be  evaluated prior to further use. 

   c. If someone gives the command HOLD THE BOAT or WAY ENOUGH – HOLD WATER, respond immediately by stopping all forward movement and squaring the blades.

    d. Distress signals to communicate to other boats:  Wave arms or a shirt overhead, use horn/whistle.

    e. Man overboard – Immediately call command HOLD THE BOAT or WAY ENOUGH – HOLD WATER and signal launch driver.  Stroke seat removes an oar from the oarlock to throw to person in the water to use as flotation device.

    f. Shell swamped (taking on excessive water) or broken – unload boat by pairs, starting in the middle of the boat.  Pairs should form “buddies” and keep watch on each other.

    g. Bow lights must be used before dawn and ½ hour or more after sunset.

Table of Contents

Section 1 – Safety Rules

1.1 – Parking Lot and Driveways

1.2 - Dock Usage

 1.3 – Traffic Patterns

 1.4 - Weather and Water Conditions

 1.5 - Lake Augusta Hazards

Section 2 – Safe Practices

2.1– General Rowing Rules

 2.2 - Clothing

 2.3 - Commands

 2.4 – Boathouse Behavior

 2.5 - Emergencies

 2.6 – Additional Safety Guidelines

Section 3 – Equipment

3.1 – Use of CPRA Equipment

 3.2 – Rowers’ Responsibility

 3.3 – Additional Rules

Section 4 – Launch

4.1 – Use of Launches

4.2 – Equipment in Launches

Section 5 – Guest Rower Policies

  5.1 – Guest Rower Policy

Section 6 - Required Clearances


Bow Certification Form

Bow Certification Process

Equipment Damage Report Form

Rowing classifications guidelines

Swim test certification

Permission to use photos