Water Safety

All COLLISIONS, CAPSIZES, NEAR MISSES and INCIDENTS whilst rowing or at the boathouse should be reported without delay to captain@uptonrc.org.uk and watersafety@uptonrc.org.uk
For rowing incidents, the person steering is responsible for ensuring the incident is reported. Depending on the nature of incident it may need to be reported to British Rowing.  The captain and water safety adviser will provide guidance on when to do this.

If you have a problem with a boat or damage a boat please record it in the signing out book and report it to boatmaster@uptonrc.org.uk

Upton Rowing Club Safety Plan & Risk Assessment

Local Rescue Service | British Rowing Info | Rowing Risk Matrix | Cold Weather Advise

Local Rescue Services

Upton is home to Water Emergency Inshore Response. W.E.I.R. is a specialist water Search and Rescue Organisation staffed and supported by volunteers operating out of Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire. W.E.I.R provides water rescue support in a range of situations from water sporting events to flood relief, and water rescue during periods of extreme weather conditions in the local and national area.



Information from British Rowing

RowSafe is British Rowing’s guidelines for conducting safe rowing activities


British Rowing Safety Alerts can be accessed at

Safety Alert Archive

Rowing Risk Matrix

This matrix applies to all sculling and rowing activities. The start point is the Captain’s assessment of river conditions (posted on the boathouse door). The matrix is to be checked for all outings but a paper copy is only required to be completed and left in the boathouse if the Captain has declared Amber or Amber/Cold Conditions or where the matrix score gives Amber for the outing. Cold Weather precautions are to be taken whenever posted on the clubhouse.

Rowing Risk Matrix

Cold Weather

There are more risks rowing in cold weather – do not think you can carry-on regardless – please use your brain on the bank whilst it is still relatively warm.

Rowing at Upton has high risks associated with isolation and the rural nature of the area. Away from the town, it is almost impossible to summon assistance. If you fall in it could take a very long time for help to arrive. In cold weather the most important factors are time and your inability to think or do much to help yourself. Be absolutely sure you understand the risks and have a realistic recovery plan before going out. Complete the outing risk matrix and take the following into account. Cold water immersion shock is immediately very debilitating. Vulnerable people will be significantly affected by cold air conditions.

Risk Factors

  • Cold air temperatures are a risk to young people, older people and beginners who cannot row hard enough for long enough to keep warm.
  • Cold hands and bulky clothing will reduce skills and ability to bow steer.
  • Cold water immersion will disable you almost instantly and greatly reduce your ability to recover from a capsize.

Keep Warm & Able to Row

  • Wear the correct clothing in the boat (multiple high-tech layers).
  • Cover your head and use pogies not gloves.
  • Bow steers must remain flexible and coxes must be able to keep warm without too much bulk (no wellies).
  • Warm-up on land and keep rowing throughout the outing.

Reduce the Likelihood of Falling In

  • Only row in a boat appropriate to your skill.
  • No single sculls, pairs or doubles without specific captain’s permission.
  • No outings if there is ice or much debris on the water.

Reduce the Consequence of Falling In

  • Juniors and beginners to have the captain’s permission to go out. Over 50s should significantly limit their risk and all should consider wearing a lifejacket.
  • Limit your outing to 500-750m upstream and downstream of the marina.
  • Robust recovery plans are required for all outings. You only have a very short time to think / act in cold water. Unless you can get immediate external assistance, you either have to get to the bank and run home or go back in a launch. In either case you will need a space blanket or dry clothes.
  • Launches are required for all high risk crews e.g. sculls, doubles, pairs and junior or beginner fours / quads. The launch must be capable of taking everyone to the bank or recovering a full crew, keeping them warm and must have two drivers.
    • Identify – will the coach / launch see you fall-in?
    • Recovery – how will you summon assistance? How will you get out of the water? How will you get to a warm place?

If in doubt – do an ergo instead!!!

Cold Weather advice applies below 5 deg C water or air (excluding wind-chill) temperature or when the Captain posts a notice in the clubhouse.