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New safe Rowing Code for tidal Thames

Launch of new Rowing CodeRowers on the Thames are set to benefit from a unique new code of conduct for safe rowing on the tidal river, launched today (6 October) jointly by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and the Thames Regional Rowing Council (TRRC).

Rowing on the tideway is an increasingly popular sport, attracting young and old. With more and more oarsmen taking to the water, either for competition or for leisure, PLA and TRRC have worked together to make sure that everything is done to optimise safety. A key challenge addressed in this collaboration to encourage safe rowing has been making sure other river users are also accommodated when using London’s great asset – the River Thames.

Development of the Code involved extensive consultation and discussion with rowers, coaches and safety officers from the many clubs along the tideway. The resulting guidance – Rowing on the Tideway– provides details of the areas designated for rowing, together with associated local rules. It also underlines the importance of three key principles:

·        knowing and following these rules

·        keeping a good look out

·        showing consideration for other river users

Bruce Richardson,
PLA chief harbour master explained:

“Rowing safely on the tidal Thames requires more than the usual rowing skill. It also demands a sound knowledge of the tide, current and depth. That’s why it was so important to combine the collective knowledge and experience of PLA and TRRC to produce this unique code.

“We have increasing numbers of river users on the Thames, often pursuing different activities in the same confined area. The Code provides all with a single set of clear rules and guidance. We will continue to work with the TRRC to ensure that it is universally adopted, thus further enhancing safety on the river.”

PLA is actively encouraging compliance with the Code by offering prizes for the three best implementation records by rowing clubs. Annual performance will be judged each autumn by the TRRC. First prize of £1000 will go to the rowing club with the best overall safety and compliance record. Prizes will also be awarded to the runner up and the club with the most improved record.

Martin Humphrys, chairman of the Thames Regional Rowing Council, said:

“The work undertaken between the PLA and TRRC to produce this code has enabled all of us to ensure that the future of our sport on the tidal Thames is safeguarded. It is now important that every member of the rowing community plays their part in ensuring that not only all aspects of the code are adhered to, but that everyone who uses the Thames can enjoy the river in safety. 

“The TRRC is most grateful to the PLA for offering prizes to clubs for compliance. I know this will be a great incentive for many of them to prove exactly what can be done and we look forward to working closely with both the PLA and the clubs to ensure that all parts of the river community can work and exist in harmony.”


More information from: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority, Tel: 01474 562366. Email: martin.garside@pla.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

The Port of London Authority is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington.