Here are pointers that will assist in gaining more confidence on the river. If you are unsure about any aspects of safety on the river, please ask any club member.
All members should be familiar with the Code for River Safety, and pay particular attention when the Environment Agency Warning Boards (Yellow or Red) are displayed at Teddington Lock.
Identical yellow or Red warning boards will be displayed at the club for information of members. This information can also be obtained from the River Condition Environment Agency link shown below in red.
This code is mandatory to all and is displayed on the Boat Shed doors. For the avoidance of doubt, when the Environment Agency Red Warning Board applies, no crews may boat uncoxed, except in singles. No crews may boat in darkness and must come off the water before darkness falls.
Please be aware of what boats you can use; novices should only use the novice doubles and singles.
If you are unsure, please seek advice.
Web Sites with River Conditions
- Get to know the different types of boats
- Be aware of which boats you can use
- Look after the boats & oars and report any damage on the board in the boathouse
- Watch 200 yards ahead and behind your boat as crews may not hear or see you
- Be aware of other people’s abilities – for example an in-experienced passenger boat, sailing boats and a Sunday morning hire boat
- Be aware of the capability of your crew – age, strength, concentration and experience.
- Be aware of the effects of the stream (flow rate of the river)
- To steer in a straight line – select an object far away, above bow or stern and keep it there
- Imagine the course as a line on the water
- Use short pulls on the rudder when the blades are out of the water
- Turn the boat using the stream
Responsibility of the Cox
- Nothing should be done without an instruction or permission from the cox
- Ensure the crew understands basic commands- Easy All, Hold it Up, Back it Down, Bow and Stroke side
- Keep to the right
- When skiffing upstream, keep close to the bank
- When skiffing downstream, keep to the right of centre
- If there are sailing boats around, keep to the bank so they can tack short of you
- When starting and finishing an outing, always have the skiff facing upstream and maintain the clockwise circulation pattern in front of the clubhouse
DSPC Water Safety
At present when Red/Yellow Boards are displayed members wanting to boat must get approval from one member of the River Safety Panel. The River Safety Panel is made up of experienced members who between them cover all current and recognised boating times.
Panel members base their decision on the following criteria
- River conditions –
River speed at Kingston – boating is not allowed for anyone if flow is at 200m3/s or above. Only stronger experienced crews may boat when flow is above 160m3/s.
River height at Thames Ditton Island – boating is not allowed for anyone if level is at 5.00m or above
- Weather Conditions i.e. any Storm warnings/Wind against current
- Competence, Experience and Strength of the member(s) seeking approval including coxes
- The safety with which boats can be launched and returned to the Hard
Other conditions to take into account
Under Red Board conditions Doubles MUST be coxed (i.e. not coxless)
Members going in Singles MUST be accompanied by another crew (double or single)
Must comply with the River Safety notices displayed on the Boat House doors
Must write name of crew and time of outing on blackboard hanging on boat house door
Must REMOVE name from Blackboard on returning from outing
The Panel member consulted must be called/texted again when the outing is safely concluded
Panel members may decide when taking all these factors into account that a less experienced person may boat but only together with two other experienced members in the same crew but may also give guidance as to the order of the crew to ensure for example than an experienced person coxes downstream. There will be no discrimination based on sex or age.
If members are made aware of the decision making, then they can check for themselves on the various web sites as to whether or not an outing may be possible before they ask a Panel Member
Please click here our River Navigation Map (pdf)
Other things to learn are the various boat parts – feel free to ask!