Sports Law • Risk Management

New to Crew, Part II

In my previous blog, New to Crew, Part I, I mentioned some of the risks associated with crewing. However, there are some additional risks that are important to mention.

For instance, when rowing, you should never go out alone. Even if you are navigating a single person boat, you should always have someone follow in a functioning launch boat. That way if something happens, a person in another boat should be available to assist. It is also a good idea to purchase insurance in case of an accident to a person or to property.

When preparing to be on the water, put on sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses and wear water-resistant or quick-drying layers of clothing. The weather can change quickly on the water and at times you may be far from the dock. Protect yourself from the elements to avoid incident.

Bring water or an electrolyte beverage to keep hydrated. Particularly when competing in a long distance regatta, you may have to travel a long distance to get to the start. Additionally, you may have to wait for an extended period of time before you can start your race. Proper hydration is important during any exercise and once you are in a boat on the water, you are far from being able to access a water fountain.

Furthermore, be aware of your surroundings. The coxswain should watch for debris in the water and avoid running ashore. The rowers should watch the crew person in front of them to keep in sync and avoid hitting the person with their oar or crabbing. All persons in the boat should also monitor and adjust for the tilting of the boat as well as the water levels inside the boat. In the event that someone should be ejected from the boat or if the boat floods, each person should have the ability to swim to shore.

New persons who crew should have proper land training and become familiar with the boat before getting into the water. It is essential that all persons are comfortable in knowing how to safely and efficiently use the equipment and to know how to respond in the event of an emergency.
There are lots of risks associated with crewing. However, proper planning can prevent or minimize incident and make the activity more enjoyable for all.