At Columbia Rowing Club, safety is always a priority. CRC is located on a river, which means we often have a changing environment for rowing. We have developed some rules which must be followed due to club, county or insurance policies, and a set of guidelines to assist rowers in making safe decisions.

CRC Rules
Gates & Locks
* After your row at CRC, all gates shall be shut and locked including both boathouse doors, the gate at the top of the dock ramp, and the entrance gate.

Water Temperature
* Due to the high risk of hypothermia, do not row alone when the water temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rule of 90
* Never row when the combined temperature of the air and water is below 90 degrees. You can check the air temperature here, and the river temperature here.

* Check the forecast prior getting on the water. If you hear thunder, wait 30 minutes prior to rowing. If you see lightning, wait 60 minutes prior to rowing. In the event a storm comes while you are on the water, try and safely get back to the dock as quickly as possible.

Limitations of River
* Do not row past Boatrights Island as the water becomes shallow and rocky. Do not row past the concrete structure on the far side of the river past the dock to avoid getting too close to the dam. Do not stop near the bridge piers on the upriver side of the bridge to avoid floating into a dangerous position under the bridge.

Limitations of Day
* Do not row prior to sunrise or after sunset.

Swim Test
* All rowers must complete a swim test within 30 days of joining CRC. This test consists of swimming 150 continuous yards, treading water for 10 minutes in deep water, and donning a PFD (personal floatation device) without stopping. This test must be administered by a member of the CRC board or an appointed representative of the club. Contact the Vice President to schedule a test.

Coaching Launch
* All youth and collegiate rowers must have a coach out in a launch when they are on the water at all times.

Log Book
* Rowers should always sign out prior to going on the water, and sign back in upon returning.

* CRC does not allow alcohol or other drugs on the premises at any time.

Rowing Guidelines
Traffic Pattern
* Generally, the traffic pattern is ‘stay to the left’ in which shells are placed in the water with the bow towards the bridge side of the dock. Members and visitors row up river and can turn around at any time, returning on the far side of the river. To return to the dock, row past it, spin again, and row up river to the side of the dock.

* Rowing is a sport and fitness hobby, which requires . Bring a water bottle with you when rowing and take frequent breaks, especially in high temperatures.

* If there are any problems with equipment, report it as soon as possible to the Equipment Manager.

Personal Experience
* It is difficult to define ‘safe’ verses ‘unsafe’ river conditions as rowers have a variety of levels of comfort and experience in their rowing careers. Always use common sense and good judgement to determine if the river is safe, and air on the side of caution.