row2k Features
Boathouse Hacks
The Safety Card
July 18, 2012
row2k hackers

The Safety Card, on duty. (photo thanks to Ann Schley)

contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k

Have a big club, with lots of coaches, or a tricky stretch of water, with lots of details to remember, or just a really thorough safety plan that you want handy at all times? Here's a great hack for just that sort of thing, sent in by Ann Schley from the Minneapolis Rowing Club: the Coaches Launch Safety Card.

Ann's club has lots of teams, from juniors to masters, rec rowers to racers, and summertime can be pretty busy, with crews out on the water at all times and lots of different folks taking the launches out to coach the various groups. To keep everyone on the same page--literally--each launch has a laminated, two-sided info sheet that includes things like phone numbers for coaches and club officers, tips for starting the motor, action plans for different types of emergency situations, directions for calling the Coast Guard and the Lock & Dam folks on the river, advice for providing first aid, and even a few suggestions on how to avoid waking other crews.

A lot of that info would be useful to any club or team, but the MRC Safety Card also includes a river map that highlights safe areas to pull crews off the river in the event of a storm as well as spots that can be most easily accessed by emergency services in the case of a serious injury or incident. It would be a lot to remember in a tense situation if something were to happen, but the Safety Card lays it all out so everyone can have the details they need, should they ever need them.

The MRC folks tie the Safety Card right into every launch, next to the motor, so it is never out of reach and is always handy, just in case.

Have a good way to keep safety a priority at your place? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.

Have a great rowing hack for future inclusion here? Send it to us!

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07/20/2012  1:07:49 PM
Minneapolis RC is a large and successful club situated on the upper Mississippi River. It is in a unique situation: few recreational boaters, but the occasional aggregate barge, irregular stream flow, a dam downstream and navigational bouys. Another concern is access to the river for rescue crews. The club has done an outstanding job in upgrading safety standards and preparing and equipping those of us coaching there. Coach and athlete training, safety seminars, properly equipped launches and a strong policy for cold water and high river flow are all part of the safety culture. Kudos to all club leadership.

John Davis

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