Link to GaugeMap page:


Courtesy of Shoothill Ltd using Environment Agency data



Only those qualified and/or authorised members whose names are listed here and on the internal Club Notice Board are allowed to use Club launches.
Any member not listed, using a launch without the Captain's specific permission may not be insured and could face unlimited liability in the event of an accident.

If you would like to be included on the list, then please email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



A petrol rota drawn up from a list of active coaches is on the external Notice Board and if there is no petrol left, speak directly to the coach whose turn it is for that week, or otherwise fill up the three green jerry cans and the red fuel tanks with petrol at Texaco, using the Texaco fuel card. Please fill the three Mercury tanks for the RS Cats directly from the pump at the garage. These should be filled to maximum.



The sequence of launch moorings are the CCS launches Terry and Lawrie, moored along side each other, behind them are the CCS launches Lock to Lock and Duncan Ross and the Club launch Tom Jost, then the Club RS Cats 1, 2 & 3 in line astern.



Help to reduce the risk of further engine thefts by always trying to padlock the security cable or chain through the engine handle.


Operation, damage, faults and repairs reporting


Please use the Club launches before using any of the four school launches.

Always log out the launch on the efa laptop system and record any problems on the system and if possible also send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please try to ensure that the launches are used with appropriate care as their repair and maintenance costs are significant to the Club.



The Club's Safety Management Plan section relating to Coaching and Rescue Launches must be adhered to: here.

The BR Row Safe document giving advice relating to Launch Driving under section 7.4 should be followed:

The Environment Agency's boating publication 'Cruising Guide to the River Thames' has important safety information and regulations that have to be conformed to can be found here.


When boating ALWAYS:

        • Wear a life jacket
        • Attach the engine kill cord line to your life jacket or leg
        • Carry and check the contents of a Launch Safety Bag, including a throw line
        • Carry an Anchor Bucket
        • Carry a Paddle
        • Carry one of the 6 Pronto P5200 radios (kept on charge in the boiler room) on channel 3.
        • Carry a mobile phone programmed with the following numbers on speed dial:

Club: 01628 622664
Bray Lock Keeper: 01628 621650
Boulters Lock Keeper: 01628 624205


19 July 2019

A Risk Assessment is required for any significant event, particularly where non-Club members are involved.


Please complete the Risk Assessment for and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The form can be found here.


Maidenhead Rowing Club views safe and responsible rowing as a foundation for successful recreational and competitive rowing.


The club's mission statement is that "To row well is to row safely"


This section of the website includes Maidenhead Rowing Club Safety Rules, Procedures, and Guidance.


All members must be fully aware of the basics:

If you have a question about safety, please contact the Club Safety Advisor on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or use the Contact Us page here, selecting Safety from the topic drop-down.

For any incident that either resulted in, or could have resulted in injury to a person or damage to property, the coach or steers person involved should fill in an online incident report form which can be accessed through the following link




Further guidance on what to report:


Learning from Incidents and Near-misses

We can all learn from others where situations have lead to an incident and hopefully not put ourselves in similar situations, and identify areas of safety needing attention to minimize risk.

Take a look at the Safety Allerts published here.





Leptospirosis/Weil's Disease


Weil's Disease, also known as Leptospirosis, is rare in Britain with around 40 - 50 cases reported each year, however the disease does kill one or two people every year. It is carried by water organisms, so those taking part in water sports can be at risk.

In the early stages Leptospirosis can be mistaken for flu but can develop into jaundice, kidney and liver failure.

While the risk of contracting the disease from recreational water is very small, British Rowing is taking a precautionary approach and reiterating its advice that the serious nature of the disease means that rowers must be aware of the dangers and should take simple, routine precautions to reduce the risk of infection.

The most likely place for Leptospirosis to be found is in stagnant water, water that is adjacent to farm land and any water where rodents are common.

What are the symptoms?

Typically symptoms develop between 7 – 14 days after infection, although in rare cases the incubation can be as short as 2 – 3 days or as long as 30 days. Some cases may be asymptomatic, some may present with a flu-like illness with severe headache, chills, muscle aches and vomiting.

Many of the symptoms of Leptospirosis are the same as for other diseases and diagnosis is based on clinical suspicion followed by a blood test. There is a specialist reference laboratory for the disease that doctors can consult.

Ways to avoid contracting Weil's Disease

• Wash or shower after rowing
• Cover minor cuts and scratches with waterproof plasters before getting in your boat
• Clean open wounds, such as blisters or calf abrasions with an anti-bacterial substance
• Wear trainers or boots to avoid cutting your feet before getting in your boat
What to do if you think you have symptoms?
• Early diagnosis and treatment is important
• If you develop flu-like symptoms after rowing go to your GP and say that you are a rower
• Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics which should be administered early in the course of the disease

Further guidance

• NHS Direct
• Section 5.3 of Row Safe: a guide to good practice in rowing

Guidance for coached and coach-less Crews

1. No stream to worry about on the lake, but the major hazard is the wind: the lake follows a NW to SE direction from Start to Finish, and there is excellent weather information available on the Met Office or BBC Weather apps. The wind usually blows across the lake from SW or NE. It can blow inexperienced crews on to the bank, or out of their lanes. Crews can also get into difficulties in the corners at the Start. Steersmen and coxes must be alert, and know where the wind is coming from.

2. Congestion is the other major hazard with so many crews afloat for head races and at weekends when the river is on red boards. You must be familiar with the circulation pattern (map posted on the side of the boathouse), use the correct pontoons (outbound pontoons closest to the Return Lake, inbound pontoons closest to the Car Park), and show consideration to other crews.

3. Other crews may not be as considerate, and can get in the way. They will not always alert you to their presence. There is a limit to how many crews a coach can look out for, and a parent on a bike can provide a coach with an extra pair of eyes. The smaller the number of crews to supervise the better on a crowded lake, and it is wise to plan training to keep them close together. Keeping your crews (and others) safe always comes first - before coaching.

4. Dorney Lake is fed from a spring, and is 2-30C colder than the river. In the event of capsize, crews must get out of this water fast - safest to swim to the nearest bank using the boat as a float, and walk out the lake, but remember the wind direction.
Leaving your boat and running back to the boathouse may be the quickest way to get back in the warm. There are hot showers in the changing rooms (up the stairs by reception), and crews should always bring a towel and change of kit because there are many ways that they can get soaked to the skin. Scullers in particular must know what to do in the event of a capsize before they boat.

5. Coaches are expected to carry a throw-bag. You should learn how to use one, and practice regularly. Even if you think that you are pretty useless, there may be someone to help you who can do better.
There is a big yellow rescue boat, but it can take some time to get to a capsize so it is best to find quicker ways to get out of cold water. Do not wait for the rescue boat. It may at least give you a lift back to the boathouse.

6. You are training away from home so re-familiarise yourself regularly with all the relevant RowSafe's guidance on Rowing on Unfamiliar Waters (1.6), Weather & Environment (1.7), and Immersion in Cold Water (1.8).

7. In case of emergencies, make sure that you always have the following numbers saved in your mobile phone:
Dorney Lake reception 01753 832756

Dorney Lake rescue boat 07961 994442

Wexham Hospital A&E 01753 634018


Issue v1.0  14-Feb-2014

Rowing safely at Maidenhead – Induction guidelines

Use same checklist for juniors and adults, but tailor presentation to audience, and invite parent attendance (and appropriate participation).

1. Welcome - a little intro about the sport, the club and safety on the water.

2. Hazard perception (ask them for the list) - best done on the club balcony.

  • Emphasise stream/flow rate, wind, cold/rough water, other boats, equipment.
  • Explain how we address hazards - yellow/red boards, key navigation rules, maps, night-time and water rowing rules, weather, safety launches, equipment safety checks, emergency procedures, incident reporting, supervision of junior crews, awareness of cruisers and other vessels, every river user's duty of care
  • Mandatory safety checks - swim test, capsize drill (what to do if you fall in), importance of washing hands after outings (water-borne disease awareness)
  • Reminder that members are required to do their own risk assessment before they go out and are expected to take further appropriate precautions as necessary

3. Boathouse tour - walk round and show first aid boxes, emergency exits etc.

4. Understanding equipment (demo) - participants should be able to name all parts of the boat and oar, understand buoyancy, identify all types of boat, know how to put boat on the water, and back on the rack (tied down) by the end. Check for understanding. Reinforce this learning through L2R & after.

5. How to row - basic sculling technique points (demo), correct grip and posture, paddling, backing-down, squaring, feathering, stopping, turning etc.

6. What to wear, and not to wear, and why (demo) - safety implications, appropriate kit for different weather conditions, recommendations for beginners (low cost and functional) and club crews for racing, parental responsibility

7. Coxing - explain this important role, its responsibilities, equipment used etc.

8. Progression through club from L2R into racing, different squads etc, how the club is run (key officers - Captain, Juniors Captain, Club WSA and Welfare Officer), regattas and head races, key events in the racing calendar, racing at the club, training of all types - how much, how often?

9. What it costs - subscriptions (club and BR) and extras (regatta expenses, rowing kit and equipment)

10. Opportunities to volunteer and make new friends - pitch to parents!


Refer to the MRC Safety Plan, and abridged version (on the club website), along with other safety resources on the MRC website (, plus British Rowing's RowSafe guidance/minimum standards

Issue v1.0 2-June-2014





Some guidance for boating safely with cruisers and other large boats:

· Risks to rowing craft from larger vessels include: collisions; swampings; sinkings; and 'getting in each other's way'
· Be aware that you may not be visible to the 'Captain' of cruisers or larger vessels, particularly the double decker 'party' boats that are out during the summer
· Give them a wide berth
· Avoid overtaking when doing a piece (plan your piece between lock batches)
· Be aware that some larger vessels will use the 'wrong' arch on Maidenhead road bridge
· If you have encounter problems, take the name of the boat and report to the lock keeper
· Be polite (e.g. when requesting them to slow down, or cut wash) – most respond positively

Sound signals (from British Rowing Quick Guide to Steering on the Tideway, Feb 2010)

One short blast - I am turning to starboard ie my right
Two short blasts - I am turning to port ie my left.
Three short blasts - I am about to reverse. This is usually followed by one blast or two blasts to show which way the boat is about to turn whilst reversing
Five short blasts - I have no idea what you are doing and I am worried about your position
One Long blast - I am coming but I cannot see fully where I am going!

Rowing safely at Maidenhead Abridged summary of the Safety Plan

These are the key safety issues which all members should be continually thinking about before and during any outing:


The river status board, night rowing and cold water rowing rules detail who can row under what conditions and when additional supervision is required. These rules are set as a minimum level that members must obey. In addition members are required to do their own risk assessment before they go out and are expected to take further appropriate precautions as necessary.

The risk assessment should consider the following:

  • The current and forecast weather and river conditions, including wind, rain, river flow speed, water temperature, fog, ice, lightning;

  • The ability of the crew and cox to cope with the weather and river conditions in the boat type being used;

  • Other river traffic including other club, commercial and recreational boats that might be on the river and the ability of the crew to cope with this additional traffic.

Should the original risk assessment change during the outing, members should review their initial assessment and take the appropriate action.

Boat Condition

The crew is responsible for checking the condition of the boat before they go out. The check should include the following: hull integrity, steering, bow ball, heel restraints, hatch covers, rigger top and fixing nuts and slides all of which must be in place before going out.

Navigation & Avoiding Collisions

All boats must stay within the recognised main turning points on the river, that is upstream adjacent to the Boulters restaurant/bar and downstream halfway down the river channel approaching the lock where the blue danger sign is. Boats must not go outside these areas unless they are travelling through locks.

All members must be familiar with the main danger areas on the river including islands, channel posts, narrows, sharp corners, bridges, shallows and deep water bank areas where it is difficult to get out. New members who are not familiar with the river need to be accompanied by a coach until they are competent to navigate safely by themselves.

At all times boats must obey the navigation rules of the river, keeping to the right hand side when looking in the direction of travel. Boats must be continually aware of where they are on the river and if off station then take immediate steps, stopping if necessary, to get back into the correct navigation lane.

In particular boats travelling upstream navigating Bray Corner should be aware that there is a high risk of going wide and colliding with traffic coming downstream. Special attention is required on this corner. Boats travelling downstream should not cut the Bray Corner. Boats travelling upstream and downstream need to be aware of their position on the river when navigating the entire length of the reach; but it is especially important at Bray Corner, and other potentially dangerous areas of the river.

The main areas of serious accidents and damage over the last fifty years have been Bray Corner, breaking boats across the channel marker outside the club, hitting Maidenhead bridge buttresses and getting stuck on Bray weir on which an eight was stuck in flood conditions. The one fatality in the club was due to an undisclosed Epliletic, sculling alone. 


Issue v1.1 04-Apr-2014

Incident Reporting

For any incident that either resulted in, or could have resulted in injury to a person or damage to property, the coach or steers person involved should fill in an online incident report form which can be accessed through the following link






Learning from Incidents and Near-misses


We can all learn from others where situations have lead to an incident and hopefully not put ourselves in similar situations, and identify areas of safety needing attention to minimize risk.

Browse the articles categorised below to familiarise yourself with the advice issued by British Rowing and the Maidenhead Rowing Club Safety Committee.