google9a2fcd2a78e0252a.html

River and Weather

River Conditions – be aware!

Guidance Notes for members of the TVSC on use of club boats in varying stream and weather conditions.

We want to ensure our members are able to enjoy use of the river whenever possible but safety of our members, other river users and our equipment is import! ant to us. It is not possible for officers and committee members to always be on hand to make decisions on whether conditions are safe for skiffing and consequently we ask all members to consider and observe the guidance notes below when deciding whether to use club boats on the river. In addition there is some further guidance provided on navigation and best practices to help avoid incidents on the river.

Guidance on navigation and best practices to help avoid incidents on the river.

If there is any chance an EA warning may be posted then check this and observe the clubs guidance to members on use of club boats in varying stream and weather conditions.

  • We drive on the right.
  • Keep a good lookout for other river users and potential hazards at all times.
  • Take particular care at crossing points such as when leaving the club, at the junction of the old river and the cut, outside the canoe club at the top of Desborough Island.
  • Powered craft should give way to unpowered craft but not everyone is well trained or considerate so the bottom line is keep a good lookout and avoid accidents – even if the other person is in the wrong!
  • If there is a risk of collision with another boat shout a polite warning.
  • Do not wear headphones in a boat, this may stop you from hearing any warnings.
  • Unlike a road vehicle a boat hardly ever stops still – the river keeps you moving and even more so in the winter when there is more likely to be stream so be aware.
  • In strong stream it should be assumed that a boat travelling downstream will not be able to stop and/or change direction as easily as those going upstream.
  • Do not stop or turn near a weir particularly in strong stream conditions. In strong stream conditions it is recommended crews do not travel downstream of the club to keep a safe distance from the three weirs between the clubhouse and Sunbury lock.
  • If swapping crews or turning around during the course of an outing consider where it is safe to do so. Avoid places where it is narrow or busy such as a lock cut or outside a rowing club.
  • Not all river users go around Desborough Island the same way. Keep to the right on all the bends and keep a lookout for oncoming boats that may be cutting the corners.

To boat or not to boat?

The Environment Agency provide information on their website http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/ informing river users of conditions that may make navigation difficult and dangerous.  There are two levels of warning “Caution Stream Increasing / decreasing” (amber board) and “Caution Strong Stream” (red board) and the current status is regularly updated on the website for each lock to lock section of the river. The TVSC is located between Shepperton and ! Sunbury locks.

When amber board warnings apply:

  • Observe all instructions that may from time to time be posted in the clubhouse by an officer or committee member notifying members that boats are not to be taken out.
  • No coxless doubles or singles are to be used during hours of dusk or darkness when an amber board warning is shown.

Beyond these two restricting factors, please consider the following:

  • Consider the ability of your whole crew including the experience as a cox of anyone in the crew that may take a turn at coxing. It is not recommended that crews boat with an inexperienced cox when an amber board warning is shown.
  • If it is windy, consider the ease with which you will be able to progress into the wind. If progress would be slow and tiring then boating is not recommended when an amber board warning is shown.
  • If it is cold or wet or both consider if this could impact the performance of the crew and in particular the cox. If weather conditions are extreme boating is not recommended when an amber board warning is shown.

When red board warnings apply:

  • Observe all instructions that may from time to time be posted in the clubhouse by an officer or committee member notifying members that boats are not to be taken out.
  • No boats are to be used during hours of dusk or darkness when a red board warning is shown.
  • No coxless doubles are to be used when a red board warning is shown.
  • Singles may only be used when a red board warning is shown by members authorised by the Captain to self assess the prevailing risks.
  • No Junior (by age not status) members are to use boats when a red board warning is shown.

Beyond these five restricting factors, please consider the following:

  • Consider the ability of your whole crew including the experience as a cox ! of anyone in the crew that may take a turn at coxing. It is not recommended that crews boat with an inexperienced cox when a red board warning is shown.
  • If it is windy boating is not recommended when a red board warning is shown.
  • If it is cold or wet or both consider if this could impact the performance of the crew and in particular the cox. If weather conditions are extreme boating is not recommended when a red board warning is shown.

When it is foggy

  • No boats are to be used during hours of dusk or darkness when it is foggy.
  • No boats are to be used during hours of daylight when it is foggy if the opposite bank to the clubhouse cannot be clearly seen.

IF IN DOUBT, DON’T GO OUT, THAT WAY THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER DAY.

References 05/12/2016
http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/leisure/amateur-sports-club.htm
http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/