Safety Regulations

Safety regulations have been developed by the RRC in association with the Saskatchewan Rowing Association and Rowing Canada Aviron to foster a safe environment for our members. It is a condition of membership that they are followed. These regulations were designed by rowers, for rowers, to minimize the inherent risks of participating in a water sport. All participants must sign a waiver prior to engaging in any Club activity.


  • Crews rowing outside coached times or as directed by a coach must sign out in the log book located in the boathouse prior to launching and must sign in upon completion of their row.

  • Personal flotation devices must be either in the rowing boat or in the on-water coach boat in sufficient numbers for the largest crew on water. If there is no coach boat is on the water rowers must carry floatation devices in their shell.

Excerpts from Canada Shipping Act Small Vessel Regulations

Personal Life-Saving Appliances
Part 2 Safety Equipment for Pleasure Craft 

Sub-Part 5 Exceptions for Human Powered Pleasure Craft Rowing Shells

222. (1) A rowing shell that is competing in a provincially, nationally or internationally sanctioned regatta or competition, or engaged in training at the venue at which the regatta or competition is taking place, is not required to carry on board the safety equipment required by this Part.

(2) A rowing shell that is engaged in activities governed by safety guidelines and procedures established by the governing body is not required to carry on board the safety equipment required by this Part if it is attended by a safety craft that is carrying on board a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size:

(a) for each person on board the rowing shell, if the safety craft is attending only one rowing shell; or 
(b) for each person on board the rowing shell with the most persons on board, if the safety craft is attending more than one rowing shell.

(3) However, if the rowing shell is not attended by a safety craft, it is required to carry on board only the following safety equipment:

(a) a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size for each person on board; 
(b) a sound-signalling device; and 
(c) a watertight flashlight, if the canoe or kayak [rowing shell] is operated after sunset or before sunrise or in periods of restricted visibility

  • No crew may row alone. Two boats must be on the water at all times – either two rowing shells or a shell and a coach boat.

  • Junior members must have authorized adult supervision when they are using Club equipment.

  • Coxswains and/or bow seats must carry a whistle while on the water.

  • Members who have not successfully completed the Skills Assessment must be supervised by a coach while rowing.

Environmental Conditions

  • Rowing is permitted during daylight hours only. These hours may extend to low light conditions based on the Head coach’s discretion and approval from the RRC board.

  • Rowing is prohibited in unsafe weather conditions (high wind, fog, extreme temperatures, lightning etc.) as determined by the coach/staff person.

    Guidelines for weather conditions:

    • Do not row if the fog does not allow you to see Spruce Island

    • Do not row if there has not been 30 minutes without lightning

    • Do not row when winds are over 35 km/hr and gusting up to 50 km/h

  • Cold water rules may be posted at the boathouse and placed in effect during early spring and late fall. Cold water rules are in effect when the water temperature is 15 degrees Celsius or below.


During cold water conditions if a rower capsizes they should get as much of their body out of the water as possible by draping themselves over the upturned hull, if necessary turning the boat over for this purpose. Rowers should “buddy-up” holding on to each other until rescued. Do not try to swim to shore.

Tips for Cold Weather Rowing

  • Dress accordingly, moisture wicking materials is ideal. Layers are always a good idea.

  • Wear the brightest clothes possible to improve visibility.

  • Bring a change of clothes to every practice just in case you happen to get wet.

Flow Pattern

  • A map of the flow pattern is posted at the boathouse and available online.

  • Rowing behind the islands is prohibited unless permission is obtained from both a RRC coach and a Canoe Club coach.

  • Crews docking have priority over crews launching.

  • Crews stopping at either end of the lake must be well clear of traffic.

  • Slower or stopped crews shall yield and give way to faster crews.

Safety/Coach Boats

  • Anyone operating a motorized vessel on the water must have a Boat Operator’s License as required by Transport Canada.

  • Safety/coach boats may be used only by RRC coaches. Other members may use these boats if permission is obtained from a coach or the Club Manager, or in an emergency situation.

  • Crews must ensure that a safety/coach boat is on the water or at the water's edge (with a full gas tank and life jackets) before rowing.

  • The driver and all passengers in safety/coach boat must wear a properly fastened personal flotation device.

  • Coach boat operators shall minimize their swells when either passing or being passed by other crews.

Coach boats will carry the following safety equipment with them:

  • One buoyant heaving line at least 15m

  • One manual propelling device

  • One watertight flashlight

  • One sound signalling device or appliance

  • On bailer

  • One reboarding device

  • A PFD for each person on board the rowing shell with the most persons on board

  • first aid kit

Swim Test

  • Junior athletes must participate in a swim test. Senior and Masters Members are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the swim test.

  • Members who are unable to complete the swim test are required to take a lifejacket in the boat with them whenever they row.


  • All members will participate in an annual review of safety policies.

  • Properly stocked first aid kits must be placed in each coach/safety boat as well as in the boathouse. An AED is located in the Canada Games Room.

  • Safety rules must be monitored by all members, especially by the coaches and Board members.

  • Members not adhering to RRC rules will be reported to the RRC Board of Directors for disciplinary action which may include loss of Club privileges.

  • All rowers must sign a waiver before going on the water.

Skills Assessment (mandatory)

All novice rowers have to succeed at the RRC Skills Assessment in order to advance into another program within the club. New rowers with questionable experience or skills maybe asked to be evaluated under the RRC Skills Assessment criteria.

RCA Safety Video

At the Regina Rowing Club we want to ensure that everyone is water safe and prepared prior to going on the water. All athletes are asked to review Rowing Canada’s Safety video each and every year prior to getting on the water.