Rules and liability

In joining Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club [GCRC] or participating in any club activity as a guest or visitor you understand, acknowledge and accept the following rules.

General safety

  1. Use of GCRC skiff(s) and equipment may expose you to inherent risks, including accidents and injury. Participants assume all risk of injuries associated with participation including, but not limited to, falls, contact with other participants, and all other such risks being known and appreciated.
  2. You agree, for yourself and anyone entitled to act on your behalf, to HOLD HARMLESS, WAIVE AND RELEASE GCRC, its trustees, officers, representatives, and successors from any responsibility, liabilities, demands, or claims of any kind arising out of their participation in the use of GCRC skiffs and equipment.
  3. GCRC does not accept any liability for any damage to or loss of property belonging to members, their guests or visitors.
  4. Members are expected to behave with respect for other members.  
  5. Inappropriate conduct – eg discriminatory or offensive speech or behaviour –  may result in membership being suspended or terminated.
  6. Any member who has concerns about safety or the conduct/behaviour/attitude of other members or skippers should make these concerns known to the club Convenor in strict confidence.
  7. The name of the person causing concern should not be disclosed in any written form, eg by email or written correspondence
  8. The Convenor will collect full details from the complainant and report to the Committee who will investigate and decide whether there is good and sufficient reason to terminate or suspend membership, as provided in the Constitution (para 5 (a) ii).
  9. Members and Committee members will be mindful of the need for sensitivity and confidentiality in sharing personal information at all stages in this process.

Pontoon safety

  1. Members must take care at all times on the linkspan and pontoons. Aside from the obvious water danger, members should be actively aware of the potential hazards presented by the pontoon area’s various fixtures and fittings.
  2. No activities can be undertaken without wearing a lifejacket, which must be donned before any activities, either on the pontoon or on water, can commence. Once the activities are complete members must exit the pontoons as soon as they have stowed their lifejacket back in the clubhouse.


  1. Members may use their own lifejacket so long as it is deemed suitable by skippers. 
  2. Participants should check and understand the type of lifejacket they have selected, whether it is automatic or manual. Lifejackets should fit snugly but not so tightly that they are uncomfortable. A rule of thumb for checking if they are too loose around the chest is to see if you can fit your fist between the straps and your body easily: if so, the lifejacket is too loose. 
  3. Please read the lifejacket guidelines

Trip hazards

  1. The pontoons are extremely slippery in wet or icy conditions. You should wear flat footwear with good grip, as well as appropriate clothing for the weather and time of year.
  2. Members must be wary of tripping on equipment being brought in or out of the clubhouse and laid on the pontoons as the crew outfits the skiff for departure or return.
  3. There are significant height variations between different pontoon sections and between the clubhouse and the pontoon.

Weather conditions & river safety

  1. Crews must note the condition of the rivers – the state of the tide, approximate depth and speed of flow, in addition to the wind. This impacts on the direction of rowing and the likely path an object or person might take if they fall off the pontoon. 
  2. If weather conditions are bad or deteriorate the skipper has discretion to cancel the session.
  3. It is inadvisable to row when the wind speed is greater that 16 mph.
  4. It is extremely unsafe to row in the dark. It is prohibited for members to row between sunset and sunrise.
  5. The Skipper has absolute discretion in deciding whether or not the weather or tide conditions are safe for rowing, taking into account the experience level of the crew.
  6. If a member is unwilling or unable to row for reason they should inform the skipper.


Attendance and attitude

  1. Use of the skiff(s) and equipment is entirely at your own risk.
  2. Rowing is a crew activity.
    • If you book a place and don’t show up you are letting down your fellow crew members and denying other members a chance to row.
    • If you have to cancel please, out of courtesy to fellow members, let the skipper know as soon as possible so that your place can be offered to someone else.
    • The club reserves the right to suspend temporarily any member who persistently fails to turn up without notification.
  3. A Skipper may refuse a booking, giving reasons which will be shared with other Skippers and the Committee.
  4. Treat the boats and equipment as though you have spent many hours making and painting them.
  5. Report any damage to the skipper.

Physical activity

  1. When you join a rowing session you warrant that you are physically fit and capable of taking part in the sport of coastal rowing.
  2. Please note club officers and skippers are not qualified to assess your general physical fitness.
  3. It is the individual’s responsibility to communicate any medical, physical and psychological concerns that might conflict with participation in the activity.
  4. Notwithstanding points 1-3, the Skipper has absolute discretion in deciding whether or not to allow a member to participate in a rowing session.

Removal and return of skiff cover and equipment

  1. All crew should assist with prepping the skiff for rowing/mooring, following the instructions of the skipper. This should not be done with undue haste, as time is built into rowing sessions for this.
  2. Please look at these video instructions.

Boarding and disembarking 

  1. Board or disembark the skiff one at a time, in the order directed by the skipper.
  2. Move slowly and try to maintain a low centre of gravity by crouching down. 
  3. Only one person should be standing at any time.
  4. Crew already in the vessel should remain still and, if they can reach, hold onto the pontoon for stability when others are moving, keeping their hands clear of the edge of the skiff.

Other vessels

  1. The whole crew must remain aware of their surroundings and watch for other vessels or floating objects in the river at all times. Alert the skipper to vessels approaching from the stern. 

Accidents / Emergency incidents

  1. Each skiff carries a first aid kit for treating minor injuries on board.
  2. Each skiff carries throw line. Hold the end the line and throw the bag.
  3. If a member of crew falls overboard or off the pontoon, remain calm and focus on how to retrieve the casualty, bearing in mind that the circumstances in which a ‘man overboard’ may occur are varied.
    • shout loudly ‘man overboard’
    • the Skipper will immediately designate a crew member to continually watch and point to the person in water and give directions by arm signals and shouted distance.
    • if necessary use a throwline.
    • manoeuvre boat to bring casualty to midships and and try bring him/her back onboard.
    • call emergency services (999) or use VHF radio to alert coastguard. 
    • For more see Queensferry Rowing Club’s guidelines and this video.
  4. If the crew spots a person in distress on one of the bridges or on the riverbanks and the emergency services are in attendance do not proceed further. Reverse course.
  5. All accidents must be reported to for entering in the safety log and if necessary reporting to the SCRA and the operator of the pontoon.


  1. The Skipper is the master of the vessel and has absolute discretion in deciding whether
    • weather and tide conditions are suitable.
    • a member is in a fit state to participate in a rowing session.
  2. New skippers will be signed off independently by two experienced skippers, one of whom will be a committee member.
  3. Skippers are expected to initiate rowing sessions and invite members to participate. Skippers who have not organised a session for more than six months will asked if they wish to continue in the role.
  4. Skippers are encouraged to ask crew members to cox all or part of the rowing sessions. This allows skippers the chance to row as well as developing other members’ boat handling skills.
  5. Rather than book on another skipper’s rowing session skippers are encouraged to set up another session.
  6. On every rowing session the skipper must:
    • Check the weather forecast to decide whether it is safe to row, taking account of the experience level of the crew
    • Check the tide
    • Check sunset time. If departing within two hours of sunset, a torch must be carried (not a head torch) but the skiff must berthed before sunset. Rowing in the dark is expressly forbidden. Early morning rows should not depart the pontoon before official sunrise.
    • Carry a mobile phone or make sure least one crew member has one.
    • Check the boat equipment before setting out
    • Report any damage or missing items by email to
  7. VHF radios. Operation of a VHF radio without a licence is illegal. However, skippers who do not hold a VHF radio licence may carry a club VHF radio to be used only
    • to alert the coastguard if the skiff or a person is in grave and imminent danger.
    • at regattas or races: only on the channel designated by the race controller.

Maintenance and working on the pontoon

  1. Working alone is discouraged for safety reasons.
  2. It’s always preferable to work in groups but small shore-based maintenance such as fixing oars, rudders or other ancillary equipment may be undertaken alone.
  3. Any activity that required going near the water must not undertaken alone.
  4. Cleaning pontoon and attempting skiff repairs alone is not allowed.
  5. Never attempt to dislodge debris such as tree branches from the water around the pontoon and clubhouse.
  6. If you are working alone make sure someone close to you knows where you are and when you expect to leave.

Barge maintenance rules

  1. Members should don a life jacket IMMEDIATELY upon entrance to the clubhouse and before any tasks are carried out. If the weather conditions are bad, the activities must be rescheduled. Prior to any work taking place, members must all take note of the condition of the river – the state of the tide and speed of flow, in addition to the wind.
  2. Participants should check-in with whoever has arranged the session and then consult the white board at the entrance where the tasks for the session can be marked up with any control measures also noted.
  3. Members must make themselves aware of any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required before they start any given task. Tasks must be ticked off as stages are completed to show progress and elements that remain outstanding. 

Painting the external areas of the barge 

  1. When painting the barge you must wear an automatic life jacket.
  2. There must be a minimum of three people in any painting crew:
    1. one person to paint
    2. one person to man a safety boat
    3. one person on the pontoon to observe and limit access to the roof area on the barge
  3. The pontoon observer must tie-off the ladder as well as making sure that the ladder extends above the roof to act as a hand grab. They should have a throwing line ready in case anyone falls in the river. 

Pumping out the bilge on the barge

  1. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should any member enter the bilge, which is accessed through the floor hatch in the vestibule, due to possibly dangerous low levels of oxygen mixing with lethally high levels of carbon monoxide. 
  2. If the centre compartment of the bilge needs to be pumped out, then the pump is lowered into the bilge by a member on the pontoon standing at the door. Whilst pumping out is ongoing, nobody may access the barge areas, because of the risk of falling through the open hatch. 


  1. The barge has an electrical coupling link, located at the left-hand side of the door. Should it be uncoupled, power can be accessed from the pillar adjacent to the Seaforce (Gregor’s)barge.
  2. As this is 240v, it must have in an RCD unit prior to point of use, preferably close to the pillar.
  3. Use the correct blue round plug to standard 240v-3-pin rubber socket adaptor to access power from the pillar. Members must ensure that all plugs / cables are kept out of the water and laid in such a manner that they do not create a trip point.


  1. Task that require the use of chemicals (paint / glue / sealant, etc.) or create dust should, where possible, be carried out in the open air on the pontoon. Failing that, masks must be worn to limit inhalation of particles and windows opened. 

Thank you for looking after yourself and our vessels.

Club Constitution