SAFETY ON THE WATER
ROWING IN FOG
DO NOT ROW IN THICK FOG
Our current policy is that if we cannot see the other side of the lake from the pontoons, we do not launch our boats.
Further to this requirement, both banks of the river/lake must be visible at all times during an outing.
If conditions change during an outing such that both banks are no longer visible, then the outing should be cancelled and the crew immediately return to the club.
The crew shall proceed with GREATLY REDUCED SPEED and INCREASED LOOKOUT.
Both of these items can be achieved by reducing the number of people rowing (i.e. an 8+ reduces to stern 6 or 4, allowing bow pair to be a lookout).
Returning crews should maintain the circulation patterns of the lake, and maintain visual contact with the bank.
The lake is divided into zones in order to manage bookings for the various temporary events
(in accordance with clause 5.6 of the bylaw).
Check the event calendar at Might River Domain, Lake Karapiro for any lake closures. Click Here
Full list of Events that have been issued a temporary event authorisation under the navigation safety bylaw (Waikato Regional Council) Click Here
Extact from Waikato Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2013 (WRCNSB2013)
A skipper of a vessel on any river or stream must:
a) ensure that the vessel keeps as near to the starboard side of the river channel as is safe and
Full document (WRCNSB2013) can be found here Click Here.
Please check the map in the clubroom for rowing circulation patterns.
Each rower must either wear an approved buoyancy aid/ PFD or the boat must have an easily accessible buoyancy aid for each person.
From the Rowing NZ Water Safety Code September 2004
“Approved Personal Flotation device (PFD), lifejackets or buoyancy aids are those approved
under the Maritime Rule 91, Navigational Safety.
IF the crew is under the direct control of a coach in a boat the rules below provide an exemption from carrying approved buoyancy aids or PFDs as required by MSA rule 91.4 (1).
Extracts form Rowing NZ "Rowing Water Safety Code September 2004"
5.6.1 Accompanied training.
5.6.1 a. – When accompanied by the coach/safety officer in a powerboat - One coach in a
powerboat can supervise a maximum of 3 rowing skiffs at any one time, provided that the
crew/s are always able to hear given instructions from the coach. The powerboat shall carry
the required number of Buoyancy Aids/PFDs as per 4.5
All coxswains and coaches must wear approved lifejackets when carrying out their duties on
the water (as required in 4.3 above)
5.6.1 b. When the Coach/Safety officer is not in a powerboat - In sheltered waters where the
sides of the waterway are less than 200 meters apart - crews must be under the observation
of an individual(s) who is/are able to summon additional help if required.
5.6.2 Unaccompanied training
Each rower must either wear an approved buoyancy aid/ PFD or the boat must have an easily
accessible buoyancy aid for each person.
NOTE: Before going on the water the a member of the crew must assume responsibility for the crew.
It is that person’s responsibility to ensure that the crew complies with the rules for unaccompanied
crews and is the person to whom any inquiry will be directed should an incident occur. (as per 3.4)
All crews, when going on the water - whether accompanied or not, must appoint a person to have
overall responsibility for the crew. This person will usually be the person steering the boat or the
stroke of the crew if the person steering is considered unsuitable. It is this person’s responsibility to
ensure that the crew complies with the rules and is the person to whom any inquiry will be directed
should an incident occur.
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 signaling warning device, capable of attracting attention over at least 200 meters. e.g. Air
horn or whistle
• A grab line at least 15m (50ft) long with a large knot tied in one end to assist throwing (ideally a
rescue/heaving line - 'throw bag').
• Sufficient approved Buoyancy aids or PFD's for the biggest boat they are coaching (8 max) (see
• A basic first aid kit (contents recorded and checked before going out).
• 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.
• Engine cut-out lanyard device, accessible to the driver at all times
• Anchor and line.
• If more than 500 meters from the nearest shore a red hand flare shall be carried.
All documentation from Rowing NZ relating to safety can be found here: Click Here
When rowing in the dark boats must be fitted with lights as detailed below.
In addition to these requirements rowers should wear light coloured clothing. The fitting of a rearward facing white light is recommended as the bow light will be obscured by the crew in some situations.
Boats must carry on the bow a continuous all round (360 degrees) white light, with a range of 2 nautical miles.
There are a number of suitable lights in the locker in the club house, these are the diver's wand type, these meet the requirements above.
Lights that produce only a narrow beam should not be used.
Rowing NZ Water Safety Code April 2004 can be found here Click Here or here Click Here
Extract from Rowing NZ "Rowing Water Safety Code September 2004"
5.6.3 Training before dawn and after dusk
Note: This is dangerous and should be avoided if at all possible.
The rules above for Accompanied and Unaccompanied training will apply, in addition:
Boats must carry on the bow a continuous all round (360 degrees) white light with a range of 2 nautical miles.
There shall also be a hand torch on board.
All other boats must display a continuous all round white light on the bow capable of being
seen for at least 2 nautical miles. There shall also be a hand torch on board.
Waikato Rowing Association (WRA) have this document covering the use of navigation lights, which includes information for lighting on coach boats.
WRA Safety Bulletin Number 2009/3 Click Here
REPORTING OF INCIDENTS
There are legal requirements for all incidents and accidents to be reported to Maritime NZ.
There are also requirements in most cases for reporting to Rowing NZ and Waikato Regional Council.
Once the incident/accident has been dealt with then it should be immediately reported to the Club Safety Officer or Club Captain. A report will then be completed and appropriate bodies will be advised.
All Coach Boat drivers must have completed a Coach Boat Training course. These are organised through Waikato Rowing Association.
All coach boats used during hours of darkness shall meet the following lighting requirements.
At a minimum they shall display an all round white light visible for 2 nautical miles.
If the boat is operated above 7 knots then it shall display red and green (port and starboard) side lights as detailed here Click Here Maritime NZ. Maritime Rules Part 22 (Collision Prevention). Section 2 Lights and Shapes