1. Launch Drivers

Only those qualified and/or authorised members whose names are listed here and on the internal Club Notice Board are allowed to use Club launches.
Any member not listed, using a launch without the Captain's specific permission may not be insured and could face unlimited liability in the event of an accident.

If you would like to be included on the list, then please email:

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2. Petrol

There are now 5 new jerry cans labelled 1 to 5. Each Club launch now has a named fuel tank and the CCS launches have tanks labelled CCS 1 to 4. There will be an indicator board in the boathouse with 5 discs showing green and red to indicate when the jerry cans are either full or empty.

1. Only use the tank labelled with the launch name, with that launch – this will assist with any engine fault finding.
2. All tanks are to be refilled after each outing – this will assist in enabling boating to start without delay.
3. When a jerry can is empty, change its indicator in the boathouse from green to red and when 4 are empty, they will be re-filled by Patrick White or the Junior Coaches on Fridays using the Club truck, in order to be ready for the weekend.
Any problems with petrol should be immediately notified to Patrick White and also noted on a whiteboard in the boathouse.


3. Mooring

The launch mooring sequence is: the CCS launches Terry and Lawrie, moored alongside each other, behind them are the CCS launches Lock to Lock and Duncan Ross and the Club launch Tom Jost, then the Club RS Cats 1, 2 & 3 in line astern.


4. Security

Help to reduce the risk of further engine thefts by always trying to padlock the security cable or chain through the engine handle.


5. Operation & Maintenance


Use the four Club launches before using any of the four CCS launches.

The starting procedure for the RS Cats is listed here and they are also stored in the lockers under the drivers’ seats.

All Club launches are regularly maintained but any issues need reporting to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the EFA system when it is available to use again.

Please try to ensure that the launches are used with appropriate care as their repair and maintenance costs are significant to the Club.


6. Launch Safety Rules & Recommendations - March 2021


The Club's Safety Management Plan section relating to Coaching and Rescue Launches must be adhered to: here.

The BR Row Safe document giving advice relating to Launch Driving under section 7.4 should be followed: http://www.britishrowing.org/taking-part/staying-safe/rowsafe

The Environment Agency's boating section publication 'Cruising Guide to the River Thames' has important safety information and regulations that have to be conformed with: https://www.visitthames.co.uk/dbimgs/Cruising%20Guide(1).pdf


A. Preparation 

    1. All Launch drivers need to do a risk assessment before the outing, checking they are confident and experienced to safely manoeuvre the launch in the current conditions. If they are not confident then they need to cancel the outing.
    2. Preparation of the launch:
      1. Collecting equipment - keys, fuel, anchor bucket, launch bag, radio, Personal Floatation Device fitted like this (Guide Here) and mobile phone 
      2. Ensure sufficient supply of petrol for outing and ensure petrol tank is correctly attached to the engine, with the air vent pressure release screw on the petrol cap fully unscrewed
      3. Prepare and start the launch – let it run for a few minutes
      4. Once satisfied the launch is operational give briefing to your crews


B. Maintenance 

All our club launches are regularly maintained; however, things can go wrong – any issues need reporting to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as soon as possible.


C. Radios 

Carrying a radio & phone with key emergency numbers in the launch is MANDATORY for all outings.

The launch driver needs to give another radio to: another coach in another launch; someone who will be at the boathouse for the duration of the outing; or a crew member of a boat.


Key emergency numbers 

Maidenhead Rowing Club 01628622664

Bray Lock: 01628 621650 (or 03708 506 506) Lock Keeper - Keith Reeve.

Boulters Lock: 01628 624205 (or 03708 506 506) Lock Keeper - Ralf Tompkin

Environment Agency Duty Waterways Officer: 0800 80 70 60.

NHS 111


Radio protocols can be read here.

Radio operations can be read here.


D. Launches 


    1. When the river is on AMBER or RED/AMBER, it is advised that another launch is on the river - both with radios, so that they can communicate in case of emergency. if another launch is not available, there must be another person at the club or on the river with radio, who can act in the case of emergency 
    2. If the launch does cut out and cannot be immediately restarted, the anchor may not always be effective. Paddling the launch to the bank may be a more effective option whilst awaiting rescue.
    3. Blue Launches:
      • If the river is on RED/AMBER boards (flows over 100m3/s) the blue launches, must NOT BE USED. 
      • If on AMBER boards, the blue launches should only be used as a last resort (and only if the RSCats are on the river) 


E. Rowers 


    1. Junior crews should not leave the pontoons until the launch covering them is ready to go, if this is not feasible because of pontoon traffic, then they should wait just past the Brunel Bridge/ island and do not continue down the river until the launch is present.
    2. When the river is on Red Amber boards a launch is mandatory for the safety of all rowers – not just for coaching. All the senior/master crews need to ensure they have a launch covering them and that the launch driver knows, and that the launch is operational. Here the launch driver needs to position themselves in a suitable place on the river to observe all crews. 


F. Equipment


All launch users need to ensure that the keys and all other equipment are returned to the correct place and any problems are reported to lThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


31 March 2021

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