General Health Matters

Contact With Water

Unfortunately river water is not always as clean as you might wish – especially on the Tideway. It is important to be aware of the risks present from the micro biological or chemical quality of the water such as:

Further information on water borne diseases is available on the British Rowing website.

It is also important to be aware that sewage is unfortunately regularly discharged into the Tideway following heavy rainfall.

Advice: Please ensure you wash your hands and any other part of your body which has had direct contact with the water soon after returning to the boathouse, and certainly before eating or drinking. Try to ensure your water bottle never falls in the water and if it does either boil it thoroughly or switch to a new one. Using a water bottle with a cap (e.g. an empty Lucozade sport bottle) is preferable to using one designed for cycling, where the bit you drink from is not covered when it is lying in the bottom of your boat.

Drinking Water

Remember that rowing is a physical activity and even if you feel cool you should ensure you are properly hydrated during your outing by carrying a water bottle and drinking at each stopping point.

Advice: Please fill your water bottle from the sink in the kitchen or either of the taps downstairs in the boathouse (both located in the middle boat bay). Never share water bottles with other crew members (to avoid the risk of cross infection) and take care to keep your bottle clean.

Risk of Injury From Sharp Objects

The most likely source of injury is the sharp stones and other objects on the beach. There is also some risk of injury from walking into fixed objects like riggers in the boathouse, or from an on the water crash. Whatever the source of the injury, rowing is an outdoor sport so tetanus is a real risk.

Advice: Please wear stout foot protection on the beach (flip flops are not advised as they tend to slip off leaving you unprotected – close fitting water sandals or wellingtons are better). In winter wellington boots are essential, as the water can get pretty cold! You should never walk on the beach in bare feet or in just socks – there are too many sharp objects which could potentially cause serious injury. In addition, the flotsam which is washed up on our beach often has household waste and occasionally sewage waste in it, so it is best to keep your feet covered at all times!

It is also strongly recommended that you keep up-to-date with your tetanus injections – if you cannot remember when you last had one please speak to your GP.


Next Safety guidance page: Additional guidance for coxes, bowsteers & scullers
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