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Changes to BR and Navigation Authority Advice - 13 May

Updated: May 14, 2020

This advice covers a number of different types of waterways across the Thames Region. Please refer to your local navigation authority's website for their latest position.

Updated Guidance from the Thames Region Navigation Authorities

The PLA and EA have updated their guidance to allow recreational use of the river. For full details, see PLA NM9 of 2020 -

Full Updates from the EA will be available soon.

Updated Guidance from the Government

The Government have updated their guidance for a phased return to sport. For full details see the three links below:

Updated Guidance from British Rowing

British Rowing Updated Guidance at 2100hrs on 13 May responds to the recent changes announced by the UK Government. There are a number of conditions which should be met in order for rowing activity to take place.

The significant change is:

Clubs may, if they wish/are able to, allow members to use club/shared boats (in addition to private boats) from their facilities subject to:

  • Having a club plan in place to support safe access to and use of equipment (e.g. boats/blades). This must follow all relevant Government guidance including hygiene and social distancing.

  • Continuing to follow all relevant UK Government and/or waterway authority restrictions.

  • The absolute minimum necessary areas of clubs should be opened and only to facilitate access to boats and equipment.

  • At this stage, British Rowing advise that gyms, bars and other facilities remain closed with no organised club activities or gatherings.

This is not a return to rowing, these are tentative steps to allow rowing to be used as exercise in certain cases. These steps are welcomed. Those going rowing should consider:

There is an increased risk in using the water at this time:

· At all times, consider your own and others’ health and minimise the spread of coronavirus.

· Navigation authorities have a reduced presence on the water. This might mean that additional navigational hazards are not identified and those using the water should be mindful of this.

· Normally at any time of the day and night there is a consistent level of footfall on the banks. These people would normally be able to assist if you got into difficulties, but this might not be the case at the current time.

· Similarly, there are likely to be fewer other river users on the water.

· Have a plan in case you need help: do not rely on the emergency services or members of the public.

· Remember you might not have access to your club’s usual first aid, hygiene or other facilities such as defibrillators.

· Restrictions might mean adults at risk and juniors cannot be adequately supervised in line with good practice.

Any use of the waterway should be planned in accordance with British Rowing’s Rowsafe guidance. Consider:

· Who knows where you are going and how long will you be gone?

· Would anyone check if you failed to return?

· Do you have a means of calling for help that would be usable after a capsize?

Remember: nobody plans to capsize or have an accident or medical emergency. Do not take unnecessary risks.

Below is a checklist to help you decide if you can take a boat out, in line with the current Government and British Rowing guidance. This document should be read in conjunction with that guidance. The British Rowing announcement in full is available here.

As guidance changes regularly please check the TRRC and BR website for the most up-to-date information.

Guidance for Clubs on opening their bays is available HERE

Can I go rowing flowchart:


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