Be Safe Out There!
By USRowing Staff • March 22, 2018
As many of us begin our spring rowing season, we are anxious to get out of the gym, off the erg and onto the water. However, this time of year can be fraught with changing and unsafe conditions. While not common, rowing related injuries and accidents due to unsafe conditions do occur so it is important that athletes, coaches, program directors and club administrators follow some fundamental safety practices.
Just recently, a dangerous incident occurred on the Potomac River, involving rowers and coaches going out in what was later described as “unfavorable conditions” in a Washington Post article. Thankfully a potential tragedy was averted, but this underscores and should serve as a reminder that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
USRowing’s Safety Committee encourages each and every organization, coach, school, coxswain and rower to be aware of and follow smart safety protocols. Some of these include:
Each club should appoint a safety committee that will develop and annually review all safety rules, protocols, and procedures. For a complete and thorough list of ALL matters safety, please visit our safety section of the website.
Always consider safety before going on the water. Your responsibilities should include, but are not limited to:
- Enforcement of safe practices to prevent incidents and accidents.
- Procedures for responding to both on- and off-water emergencies.
- Means for reporting and tracking injuries, incidents and equipment damage.
- A logbook to track outings.
- Swim test for rowers and physicals on file.
- Fundamental safety training for coaches and rowers with the USRowing Safety Video.
Resources available on the USRowing website include –
- USRowing Safety Poster – Print it or order free copies from USRowing at 800-314-4769 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and please post in a visible spot in the boathouse.
- USRowing’s Safety Expectations for Member Organizations – Read and share with your members.
- Trailering to a race? Know your trailering laws and regulations.
- Launch essentials and other boating safety information including boatUS boating certification for staff, coaches, and volunteers.
- Safety gear for the launch, boathouse and person.
Additional USRowing safety resources can be found at http://www.usrowing.org/safety/.
USRowing Safety Committee
USRowing’s Safety Committee is your safety resource on rowing! If you have questions or need additional materials, please contact the Safety Committee! Also, you are encouraged to send them information on safety that others in the community might find useful.
- Willie Black
USRowing Safety Liaison
- Margot Zalkind Mayor
USRowing Safety Committee Chair and Northeast region
Don’t let enthusiasm be a substitute for smart thinking…always make sure you and your rowers are SAFE!