Safe practices for unattended boat storage

Member Enewsletter


In accordance with the constitution of PCRC the club adopts the policies and recommendations of its national governing body – British Rowing. The following are therefore additional guidelines specific to PCRC and should be read in conjunction with Row Safe: A Guide to Good Practice in Rowing, which can be viewed here.

Following investigations into a recent incident at the PCRC Spring Regatta – fortunately without any personal injuries being sustained, the Rowing Committee have decided that all members should be reminded about the club’s policy with regard to the safe placing and storage of boats on outside racks/trailers/trestles in order to reduce the likelihood of any further such incidents occurring.

The incident involved a boat which was being stored on a trailer outside the boathouse during the event being blown off by a gust of wind, catching one person a glancing blow and narrowly missing two other people who were standing nearby. The incident could have been so much worse and could easily have resulted in serious personal injury, rather than just damage to the boat.

The incident occurred because boats – not just the one involved in this incident – were not being tied down in accordance with club policy whilst being temporarily stored outside the boathouse between uses during the regatta.

All members are reminded that:

  • everyone involved in rowing has a duty of care to ensure their actions both on and off the water are conducted in a manner which does not compromise the safety of either themselves or others
  • extra care and vigilance must be taken when handling boats during events when large numbers of people unfamiliar with how boats are handled on land are likely to be in the vicinity, especially in actual or potentially windy conditions
  • all boats must be suitably tied down to trailers, racks and trestles at all times when they are left unattended outside the boathouse, especially in actual or potentially windy conditions
  • in windy conditions further consideration should be given to whether it is actually safe to leave any unattended boat tied on to trestles outside the boathouse rather than properly racked inside the boathouse
  • if they observe boats not being suitably tied down when left unattended to remind the crew(s) and/or coaches concerned of the need to do so

The PCRC Rowing Committee