Through its various programs – competitive, learn-to-row, recreational, adaptive or corporate, for example – the Ottawa Rowing Club provides a broad range of opportunities for individuals to row. The single most important object of these programs is to have individuals row safely.  No rowing program, no matter how important its other goals, is worth the risk of an athlete being injured.  Rowing safely is also a simple matter of respect for fellow athletes and other users of the river.  The ORC has a very comprehensive safety policy that must be strictly followed by all ORC members.  The ORC Safety Policy can be found in our Policy Manual located on the Club Policies and Rules page.  The Safety Policy is also posted in our main boathouse.

The ORC has an online system to report boat damage an to indicate when repairs to damaged boats are completed.

Members should fill out damage reports online as soon as damage occurs, allowing ORC staff to respond as soon as possible and to track boat maintenance and repairs.

If a boat repair is required, fill out the Equipment/Boat Damage Report Form.  The status of boat repairs can be found in the Pending Boat Repair Log.

If there is an incident on or off the water that results in boat damage or injury to a member, an incident report form must be completed and sent to rowing@ottawarowingclub.com.  Incident Report Forms are also available in the ORC Head Office in the main boathouse.

Personal Safety Lights: It is ORC policy that all rowing shells should always have a bow and a stern light before sunrise and after sunset. It is advisable that all crew members have an individual light as well.

There are a few options you can use:

  • Headlamps: You can find very bright, small headlamps in the twenty to thirty dollar range from stores such as MEC or Trailhead. Often if a crew is in a double, bow seat can row with the lamp facing backward and stroke can wear one facing forward. That way you have light facing off the two ends of the shell for maximum visibility in both directions. Because you wear it on your head, it’s high enough off the water to give additional visibility to boaters. You can also take it off and wave it around if you need a hand, and it’s fairly economically priced and easy to throw in with your rowing gear.
  • Bowlamps: These are essentially jogging/cycling lights that have been mounted on a plate that slides into the mount for your bow marker. They’re available from Regattasport for $30 or if you’re the crafty sort you can fashion one yourself from a metal plate and bike light (the black stand in the bottom of the picture isn’t included – that’s actually already on the boat and is what the light slides into).

That cord you see slides around the bow ball and prevents you losing the light should a bad docking or other collision displace it. These work wonderfully and have a variety of settings from flashing to solid, but the disadvantage is that they’re close to the water and pretty impossible to reach if you discover you’ve set out from the dock and forgotten to turn it on. There are other options from candle-like lights that mount to the deck or the old standby, duct-taping a flashlight to your bow and stern (not really recommended!). Proper lighting is a must-have for every rower; even if you’re rowing close to dusk these days, the sunset can sneak up on you halfway through your row and then you find yourself feeling nervous on the way back to the club. It is also the law. If you know you’ll be rowing in the dark, be sure to wear a light-coloured t-shirt as well. Your safety is worth the extra few dollars it takes to carry a bow and stern light on the boat.

Water safety and PFDs: Be safe and invest in your own Personal Flotation Device (PFD).  All rowers are encourage to have one. The Chandlery Marine Supplies (367 Poulin Ave, Ottawa) offers ORC members a 15% discount off the regular price of the Mustang Inflatable Belt Pack PFD.

Thank you to The Chandlery for extending this discount to our members and keeping us safe this rowing season!