Now that the darker days, frost and the Frostbites are in action, time for the usual reminders to keep safe:
NORWICH FROSTBITES SAILING CLUB
– The Frostbites begin their Sunday morning races mid-October on the stretch of river by Broadland Paddlesport and along the Cut. Normal race start times are 10.50 and 12.20 though these may vary. Their season lasts till April.
– Do not attempt to row through the Frostbites when they are about to start a race.
– And remember, dinghies do not have brakes.
SEE AND BE SEEN – DOUBLY IMPORTANT AT DUSK AND DAWN
– Wear high-viz clothing in singles or bow position.
– Look ahead regularly (BR recommend every 5 strokes) over both shoulders.
– Don’t go out at dawn or dusk or in failing light without lights showing ahead and behind.
– Do keep to the correct side of the river.
– Avoid going out alone in failing light or in the excessively cold conditions mentioned below.
– It is strongly recommended you do not row in the dark.
– Take extra care in the boathouse, the risk of walking into riggers etc. is far greater if you cannot see them!
– Whether it’s light or dark, don’t carry boats (particularly on your own) if the slipway/ramp or pontoon appears dangerously slippery with algae or waste – jet wash or brush it!
– Same applies to icy conditions – chip or clear the ice away if necessary. Don’t forget it may have frozen over by the time you get back.
– No bare feet please, particularly in dull/dark conditions when you cannot see what’s underfoot. It’s not just the risk of waterborne bugs and wire netting, hypodermic needles sometimes get washed up – don’t touch them with bare hands.
HYPOTHERMIA, FREEZING CONDITIONS AND CAPSIZE RISK
– Be aware of the risks and symptoms of hyperthermia.
– Be dressed accordingly.
– Carry a heat-retaining foil blanket.
– Don’t go out if its freezing hard or there is significant ice on the river. A blade caught under even a thin sheet of ice can tip you in.
– Also, please note: Club Code states ‘’Club boats must not be taken out when the presence of ice on the river presents an abnormal risk of damage to boats or blades’’.
– Be aware of the risk of contamination of the river, ensure you wash or shower thoroughly particularly if you capsize.
– Take extra care getting in and out of the ferries in icy/slippery conditions. Don’t forget wearing wellies can make getting out more difficult if you fall in.
FLOOD AND TIDAL CONDITIONS
– Beware of strong currents and the risk of getting tangled with buoys, cruiser mooring lines or other potentially hidden obstructions.
– Flood waters are likely to contain increased debris and pollutants.
– ‘Mind the Gap’ – don’t forget high tides can hide the spaces between our pontoons and the decking!
– Also, be aware of the problems caused by extreme low tides which can make launching and recovery very difficult. If it’s not safe, don’t do go out.
Further/fuller recommendations appear in BR Row Safe, Safety Alerts and our rules. 10/22