Rowing or sculling in the dark or in poor visibility is not encouraged; those going out should consider whether their outing is necessary or prudent.

In addition to the published River Status Rules and normal navigation rules, those going out at night must adhere to the following Night Time Rowing Rules:

Night Time rules apply to any crews out after sunset, or before sunrise.


  • Only experienced (as determined by Squad Captains, based on demonstrated capabilities) and supervised crews/scullers are allowed to row/scull at night. This includes senior squads, masters/veteran squads, and recreational squads.
  • Session risk assessments should ensure that the river is not congested, and that crews of significantly different speeds are not on the water concurrently.

Immersion in cold water represents a particular risk. This may occur when a boat capsizes, is swamped, or a participant falls into the water from a launch or pontoon.
This guidance note accompanies the MRC Cold Water Rowing Rules, and is intended to support all members in the recognition and basic treatment/first aid approach to hypothermia.

The risk of suffering severe hypothermia on capsizing and being immersed in cold water increases significantly during cold periods. To minimise the risk of capsize the following additional rules apply over and above the normal River Status and Night Time Rowing Rules when the water temperature is 8oC or less and the flow rate remains below 100m3/sec.


Stream flow rates are as measured on the Bridge Gardens flow meter and water temperature as measured by the thermometer attached to the main raft adjacent to the clubhouse.

The Captain, Safety Advisor and Senior Coaches have the authority to change the River Status Board.

The criteria for the above board settings are the minimum requirements, if those authorized to change the boards feel that further restrictions are required to stay safe, they may change the board accordingly and/or request specific crews do not go out.

Any member found blatantly disregarding the river status board and going out when it is indicated that they shouldn't, will be referred to the committee who will consider banning the member from rowing out of the club.

Even when rowing is permitted it is every member's responsibility to carry out their own risk assessment and decide whether it is safe to go out. Coaches and crew members have the final decision as to whether to go out.

Issue v2.1 10-Oct-2014

Rowing will be suspended if there is threat of an electrical storm. If there is a gap of less than 30 seconds between the thunder clap and the lightning strike, boats must immediately turn around and head back to the clubhouse as fast as possible. Rowing will not commence until there has been no further thunder or lightening for at least 30 minutes.

Rowing will be suspended and no boating will be allowed when the visibility is reduced to 400m or less. It should be noted that this distance extends well beyond the Sounding Arch which has often been mistakenly used as a visible landmark to determine whether it is safe to row.

At times of fog it must be realised that conditions vary with time and along the reach.

When there is fog the Captain, Safety Advisor or nominated coaches will decide if it is safe to row and may limit and organise boats to ensure safe rowing. If conditions worsen then boats should carefully return to the clubhouse.