Welfare and Safety



Peterborough City Rowing Club has adopted British Rowing’s Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy and is committed to ensuring that everyone who participates in rowing can do so in a safe and enjoyable environment. If any member of Peterborough City Rowing Club would like to talk about any concerns they may have they should contact the Welfare Officer, Tracey Rushton-Thorpe. This procedure is open to all members of the club and/or parents and is in accordance with the British Rowing Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy, a copy of which is available to download here. It is also available on the Welfare Noticeboard located in the foyer of PCRC. Further details and guidance is available on the British Rowing website.


Annual Water Safety Update – September 2021

The full document can be downloaded here

Update to Water Safety Plan for Rowing on the River Nene issued April 2021

This is an important update and relates to new guidelines for rowing on the River Nene. The full guidance can be downloaded here


In order to ensure that all members of Peterborough City Rowing Club and those visiting the club can enjoy rowing in safety and comply with the British Rowing’s RowSafe Guide; it is necessary to have a Water Safety Plan. A copy of RowSafe is available to download here, and further copies are available around the club – please ensure you familiarise yourselves with this guide.

The PCRC Committee has appointed a Safety Adviser who is responsible for advising on all safety matters both on and off the water.  The contact details for the Safety Adviser are displayed in the Boathouse. While the Safety Adviser is appointed by the club it is the duty of all members to ensure a safe environment for rowers, volunteers and members of the public at all times.

All members and visitors to PCRC must comply with the requirements of the Water Safety Plan and other associated documents which may be in force at the time (as notified by the PCRC management committee).

If you see any incident which you feel may lead to an accident or injuries, then say something, do not assume someone else will deal with it.  Any serious incidents or breaches of the plan should be reported to the Safety Advisor or another committee member.

The following information is included in the PCRC Water Safety Plan – the full version can be downloaded here.

Accident and Incident reporting

If you are involved in an accident or incident please report it to the safety advisor or to a committee member as soon as possible. Reporting of accidents where it involves damage or injury MUST be reported on the day of the event; this can be done in person or by e-mail.  Other incidents such as capsizes where there is no injury or damage must be reported within seven days.

First Aid

A first aid box is located in the kitchen and boat house.  It is for emergency use only.  The first aid kits are regularly checked, however if you do use some of the contents please add it to the usage log so that it can be restocked as soon as possible. Any incident requiring use of first aid supplies must be reported in line with the accident reporting procedure above.

Insurance and BR membership

All boats used by members of the club and visitors must carry at least 3rd Party insurance. PCRC crew boats are all covered by the club’s 3rd Party Insurance. If you borrow a private boat ensure that you are covered with the owner. It is yours, not the clubs, responsibility to ensure that you are adequately covered. At the time of this document BR membership includes personal accident insurance cover for members while engaged “in any activity of the insured organisation anywhere in the world including direct travel to and from such activity within Great Britain, Northern Island, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man”.  PCRC’s insurance does not cover members for personal injury.

Rowing on the river

All inexperienced rower/scullers must be accompanied by a coach along the bank when training on the river.  If you are uncertain as to whether you are sufficiently experienced to go on the river unaccompanied then you should check with either the Men’s or Ladies Captain, the Chairman of the Rowing Committee, the Head Coach or the coach of your group. Based on the risk assessment completed by the junior representative or coach, junior members training on the river may either be accompanied by a launch and/or a coach on the bank.

All launch drivers should be trained and preferably hold a RYA level 2 powerboat certificate.  All launch drivers and passengers must wear an appropriate life jacket at all times.

Navigation rules on the river

When training on the river ensure you stay on the correct side of the river (cox’s right or sculler’s left).  All bridges must be navigated with caution, through the centre arch.  Rowers travelling downstream (towards the dog in the doublet) have right of way when going through the bridges.  Turning boats should be done only downstream of bridges.  When turning at the Staunch (upstream) end of the river, boats are not permitted to go beyond the road bridge before turning.  At the dog in the doublet, boats should not approach closer than 250m from the lock before turning.  Beware of all other traffic on the river, many barge drivers do not know the rules of the river and may be travelling on the wrong side.  Downstream of the Fitzwilliam Bridge there is no speed limit, crews must take care on this stretch of river due to the possible presence of speed boats.

Navigation rules on the lake

When leaving the landing stages travel across the lake to the access lane as quickly as possible. Make sure you are aware of other boats travelling down the course towards the finish line.  Do not push off from the landing stage unless you have checked it is clear to do so as crews approaching the finish line may be travelling quickly and unaware of your presence.  When going up the lake to the 250m, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and the end of the lake keeping an eye out for the end sign. (in the summer months this sign may be obscured by reeds, so check your position regularly).  When travelling down the lake towards the 1km point make sure you stay within your lane. If crews are approaching, slower boats shout ‘take a look’ so the approaching crew are aware of your position and can take action.  All coxless crews must take a look behind them approximately every five strokes or more often if approaching other crews. A poster showing the navigation rules for the lake is available in the boathouse.

A diagram showing the circulation pattern can be viewed here.

Environmental conditions

Before attempting your outing, it is essential to assess the weather and the water conditions for the duration and type of outing you are undertaking.  Make sure you are wearing suitable kit to help keep you warm and dry in cold, wet conditions.  In hot conditions ensure you are wearing sunscreen and have access to drinking water. During extreme weather such as heavy rain, rowers need to be aware that water levels and flow rates can change during an outing depending on the management of the lock systems up stream, river levels can change in a matter of hours as a result of locks being opened up.

Guidance notes for rowing in flood conditions are available to view here.


Your safety is significantly affected by the condition of the equipment you choose to row or scull in. You must make sure that the boat you are going to use is in a safe condition before you go down to the landing stage. Bow ball, heel restraints or buoyancy compartments must be checked before every outing; Boats that have a missing or defective bow ball, heel restraint or buoyancy compartment should not be used under any circumstances until a repair is made.  Any maintenance problem or damage to a club boat should be reported to the Boat Maintenance Officer and/or a committee member as soon as possible. All lifejackets and buoyancy aids must comply with the relevant national EN standards and carry the CE mark of approval.  All coxwains must wear an approved lifejacket or buoyancy aid on top of all other garments when in the boat. Coxwains should never wear wellington boots when in the boat as these may cause death in the event of a capsize particularly in cold conditions.  Jeans and other stiff fabrics are also to be avoided as these restrict the ability to swim to safety in the event of capsize.

Capsize or sinking

In the event of capsize or sinking stay with the boat as it will continue to float and will make it easier for a rescuer to spot you. If the stream is taking you towards an obstruction, such as a bridge, try and keep the boat between you and the obstruction so it can provide you with a degree of protection.

Rowing in the dark

Rowing in the dark is only permitted on the lake and if the boat is carrying two lights, a white light at the bow and a red light at the stern, the boat should be visible a full 360˚ at all times as below.  There is strictly no rowing on the river at night.

A diagram showing the correct placement of lights can be viewed here.

Use of the gym

All junior members must be accompanied by a junior coach or a delegated person, juniors found using the gym without supervision will be asked to leave. All new adult members should not use weights until they have been suitability assessed/trained by a coach or delegated person. When using weights, ensure the surrounding area is clear of obstacles and floor is not slippery. When using a bar, gym users must have a spotter to help if they get into difficulty. Please also ensure you are wearing suitable non-slip shoes. When finished with the weights, make sure all bars and free weights are returned to the storage area to avoid trip hazards for other gym users. To maintain the appropriate hygiene standards and protect the health of other club members and volunteers; all gym equipment contact points should be sanitised after every use, using the cleaning products provided.