Safety, Rules & Policies

SAFETY, RULES & POLICIES


Harassment Policy

Kingston Rowing Club (KRC) is committed to providing a respectful sport environment by promoting the prevention and prompt resolution of harassment. All members and employees of KRC have the right to be treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity in an environment free of harassment. To this end, KRC has a zero tolerance policy toward harassment. 

Read Harassment Policy.

Code of Ethics 

Membership with the Kingston Rowing Club (KRC) involves the responsibility of knowing and promoting the objectives of the organization. These objectives can be summarized as follows:

  • To promote and organize rowing in the Kingston community
  • To develop a community spirit among members
  • To generate interest in the sport
  • To maintain, care, supervision, and discipline for the rowers’ benefit
  • To improve coaching and rowing skills
  • To promote the highest ideals of “fair play”

In order to meet these objectives as fully as possible, athletes and coaches must work together to fulfill their respective responsibilities and to recognize the rights of other individuals and groups.  It is expected that all club members will consistently display high ethical standards and project a favourable image of our sport to performers, coaches, officials, spectators, the media, and the general public.

Read Code of Ethics.

Other rules and responsibilities of members

Travel Code of Conduct

All rowers under the age of 18 planning to travel with the club must read and sign, with their guardian, the Kingston Rowing Club's Travel Code of Conduct before before being allowed to travel.

Read the Travel Code of Conduct.

Payment of fees

Fees must be paid in full or rowers will be denied on water access. 

RCA Safety Video

The RCA Safety Video promotes and demonstrates safe practices for rowers.

All rowers, regardless of experience, must watch the RCA Safety Video each season (spring, summer and fall) before going on the water. 

Safety Video Chapters 1 to 4

Chapter 1: At the Boathouse
Chapter 2: Getting Ready
Chapter 3: On the Water
Chapter 4: Returning to Land

Safety Rules and Regulations

The following pages outline the safety rules that apply to all members of the Kingston Rowing Club (KRC) and those who use the KRC facilities.  These rules include, but are not limited to, the Canadian Coast Guard Regulations.

All members and users of the Kingston Rowing Club will abide by the Canadian Coast Guard Regulations. Each safety boat driver must conform to Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) licensing requirements, and provide proof of conformance to the Club Captain. Consequences of breaking federal regulation may result in fines from the Canadian Coast Guard, payable by the person(s) who disobeyed the regulation.

Strict enforcement of the KRC safety rules is the duty and responsibility of every KRC coach and member. Failure to follow the Kingston Rowing Club Safety Rules will result in disciplinary action, and suspension of club privileges, at the discretion of the KRC Captain.  Final interpretation and enforcement of the KRC rules below will be at the discretion of the Captain, with consultation of the Head Coach.  

  1. The KRC Captain shall have the final say in matters related to rowing times, safety, and equipment maintenance and usage.  If the KRC Captain is not present, the most senior coach, or any other individual so designated by the Captain, will assume this responsibility.
  2. All rowers and coxswains must demonstrate annually the ability to swim and to don a personal flotation device (PFD) while in the water.  Red Cross, Royal Lifesaving Society and other certificates are acceptable proof. Those aged 18 and over can indicate on the registration form their ability to swim; those under 18 need signature of a parent or guardian, or must take a swim-test. A list of non-swimmers should be kept at the rowing club.
  3. Each rower, coxswain, safety boat operator, and coach must ensure that the equipment under his/her control is in safe operating condition.
  4. Prior to commencing rowing each year, all rowers, coxswains, and coaches shall review the RCA safety video and be instructed in procedures to be followed in the event of a swamping.
  5. Anyone driving a safety boat will scan their Small Craft License and send a copy of it to the secretary who will keep a file.  A paper copy will be kept in the club office as back-up.
  6. Each rower shall be instructed as to the location of safety equipment in the boathouse including telephone, emergency numbers, first aid kits, thermal blankets and lifejackets.
  7. Except emergency situations, at no time will more than two (2) people be allowed in a safety or coach boat.

Launch Times

  1. Rowing after dark is not permitted at any time of the year.
  2. Rowing before sunrise is only permitted under the following conditions:
  3. Water temperature exceeds 10°C (50°F).  For a typical year, rowing before sunrise is permitted mid-May until late October. The start and end of this season will be announced each year by the KRC Captain.
  4. First launch will occur no earlier than Civil Twilight (25min before sunrise), at the discretion of the KRC Captain or Head Coach.

  5. Regardless of water temperature, all rowing shells must be within 500m of a safety boat until sunrise.

  6. All rowing shells and safety boats must have adequate lighting, including both bow and stern lights.

Cold Water Rules

  1. Prior to May 30th and after October 15th, no crew will be allowed on the water unless a safety boat operator is present and has agreed to supervise the crew prior to launch.
  2. All crews must remain within 500m of their safety boat at all times.

  3. Prior to May 30th and after October 15th, each coxswain and all individuals in a safety boat will wear a properly fastened, CCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) at all times.

  4. Rowing on the lake will not be permitted prior to May 15th or after November 15th.

Buddy Boating (Warm Water Rules)

  1. After May 30th and before October 15th rowers may exercise the buddy system, at the discretion of the Captain:

  • Permissions to use the buddy system are granted on an individual basis and may be revoked at any time on an individual basis by the Club Captain.

  • All rowers using the buddy system must have enough hulls to cover the boat with the most rowers in it:  
    • 8+    not to be allowed to use the buddy system
    • 4+    5 additional hulls are needed (example: 3 singles, 2 doubles)
    • 4x/-  4 additional hulls are needed (example: 2 singles, 2 doubles)
    • 2x/-  2 additional hulls are needed (example: 1 single, 1 double)
    • 1x     1 additional hull is needed (example: 1 single)
  • Required safety equipment (PFD for each individual, whistle, rope, bailer) must be on board in all cases when a coach boat is not present.

  • A working flashlight is required if rowing within two hours of nightfall.

  • The buddy system is not available to non-swimmers.

  • Anyone rowing under the buddy system must sign in and out on the green chalk board located outside the boathouse.

  • Under exceptional circumstances, on an individual basis, the Club Captain and/or Head Coach may waive the buddy system rule.

Traffic Patterns

  1. Coxswains, scullers and bow seat rowers will be instructed to follow traffic patterns dictated by the Captain (shown below). Further, areas for safe haven during unexpected bad weather and emergency procedures will be reviewed annually.

  2. Crews that go out on the lake (i.e. past the Hwy 2 causeway) must be accompanied by a safety boat at all times, regardless of the time of year.  

KRC Course Map

Adverse Weather

  1. In the event of windy or foggy weather, the decision to put crews on the water will be made by the KRC Captain.  In the event the Captain is not present, this responsibility shall be assumed by the senior coach or any other individual so designated by the Captain. In the absence of a coach, the senior athlete(s) present will have the final say.

  2. NO crews will be allowed on the water if lightning threatens.  If crews are on the water when lightning is spotted on the horizon, all crews will immediately head for the nearest safe haven, or KRC if time permits.

First aid

First aid kits are available on the door of the club office.  When travelling at regattas, a first aid kit is available in the club truck.  Athletes are expected to provide their own supplies for routine first aid, including care of blisters.

Hypothermia Kits

Each coach boat is equipped with a complete safety kit, which includes emergency reflective and wool blankets.

Fire and emergency 

In case of fire or emergency, call 911 using one of the 3 club phones (front door, office, erg room) or a cell phone.  The club address is 1 Cataraqui St, Kingston, Ontario.


Addendum to Safety Precautions

All coaches, coxwains and rowers must be knowledgeable about the safety rules and their responsibilities.

COACHES

Coaches must ensure that:

  • The safety precautions are strictly followed.

  • Before launching, each coach boat must be equipped with adequate gasoline; a paddle; a bailer; one Canadian-approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket for each rower of the largest shell present and the coach boat crew; a safety kit which contains a wool and/or space blanket, two-15 m buoyant heaving lines, an air horn or pea-less whistle, and a watertight flashlight.

  • No more than two people ride in a coach boat at any time.

  • The coach boat motor is started to ensure proper operation before the crew leaves the dock.

  • Each rower and coxswain reviews the RCA and/or the USRA safety video before commencing rowing each year.

  • Each rower is dressed properly for the weather conditions.

  • Each crew receives special instructions in the event a shell capsizes or swamps, namely:

  • Do not allow the rowers to leave the shell.

  • Do not allow the oars to float away as they can be used for flotation.

  • The rowers "pair up", i.e. 1 and 2, 3 and 4, etc., with the bow pair or stern pair, as applicable, responsible for the coxswain, when in the water.

  • Do not thrash around and panic since excessive activity will lead to loss of body heat.

  • His/her crew is never out of sight.

  • There is no "horseplay" on the water.

  • The equipment under his/her control is in a safe condition.  This includes checking all shells prior to rowing to ensure there are no cracks, that all are equipped with bow balls and have easy release footstops.

  • Any damage or faulty equipment is reported to the boatman and if a shell is not rowable, a note is left on the shell to prevent its use.

  • Never allow a crew or sculler to row on the lake unless a coach boat is present.

COXIES

Coxies must ensure that:

  • They are familiar with the safety precautions.

  • They know traffic patterns.

  • They remain calm and demonstrate leadership in the event of trouble.

  • They have their safety vest properly fastened and the shell is equipped with a safety whistle. (In bow-coxed shells, the safety vest must be in the shell with the coxswain ready to don it quickly in the event of an emergency).

  • They never allow the crew to row more than 500 metres away from a coach boat before May  30th and after October 15th.

  • They always watch for changing weather conditions and proceed to the dock or to the shoreline in the event of threatening weather (lightning, high winds, sudden change in wind or water conditions.)

  • They exercise good seamanship (i.e. turning in windy or rough water, rowing into the wind at not less than a 45 degree angle [quartering] etc.)

  • They ensure the equipment under their control is in safe condition (i.e. ensure oarlocks properly fastened, there are no holes in the decking that may allow water in, that shoes are tied loosely with the heel tied down to allow for quick release, etc.)

  • Remember you may be required to assist your coach in the event of an accident involving the coach boat (i.e. coach falling overboard.)

ROWERS

Rowers must ensure that:

  • They are familiar with the safety precautions.

  • They know traffic patterns.

  • They remain calm in the event of trouble..

  • They always watch for changing weather conditions and proceed to the dock or to the shoreline in the event of threatening weather (lightning, high winds, sudden change in wind or water conditions.)

  • They exercise good seamanship (i.e. turning in windy or rough water, rowing into the wind at not less than a 45 degree angle [quartering] etc.)

  • They ensure the equipment under their control is in safe condition (i.e. ensure oarlocks properly fastened, there are no holes in the decking that may allow water in, that shoes are tied loosely with the heel tied down to allow for quick release, etc.)

  • Remember you may be required to assist your coach in the event of an accident involving the coach boat (i.e. coach falling overboard.)

LEADERSHIP IS EXPECTED FROM COACHES, ROWERS AND COXIES.