Safety is Everyone’s Priority

As the spring rowing season begins, athletes and coaches 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. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

USRowing’s Safety Committee encourages each and every organization, coach, school, coxswain and rower to follow smart safety protocols. It’s critical  to start each season by reviewing your organization’s safety policy with your team, coaches and staff. In fact, many teams kick off the first day of practice with the USRowing Safety Video. Why not adopt that as your organization’s best safety practice for 2019!

In addition to revisiting your safety policy and reviewing the USRowing Safety Video, other important safety protocols include the following:

Row Safe

Each organization should have a safety committee that develops and annually reviews all safety rules, protocols, and procedures. For a complete and thorough list of ALL matters safety, please visit the safety section of the USRowing website.

Safety Expectations

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.
  • Safety training for coaches and rowers that includes  the USRowing Safety Video.


Resources available on the USRowing website include:

Additional USRowing safety resources can be found at

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 always encouraged to share safety information that others in the community might find useful with committee members.

Don’t let enthusiasm be a substitute for smart thinking. Always make sure you and your rowers are SAFE!

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