Why is it important to report incidents?

Why report capsizes – even a simple capsize?

At one (or more) times in a sculler’s career he or she will have capsized with nothing more than hurt pride and a 'ribbing' from the other club members.

Why do we ask you to report apparently footlingly silly "non-" or "near" incidents such as a capsize in warm water for a novice or a slight grounding resulting in a bent fin?

Answers: Let us consider capsize.

Capsize example

Why do we have to report all capsizes even those which are ‘common’ such as those with novices when first learning to scull?

Sooner or later (let us hope it never happens) someone may come to serious harm after a capsize. In the future a Court may well ask the question – "Just how dangerous is this rowing lark? Should we not make the all rowers wear life jackets as do all dingy sailors?"

Well, if we can point out the fact that we have x thousand or tens of thousands of capsizes a year and that for y decades of this rate of capsize, no one has come to serious harm since we started to gather these data and there were, say, x, 000,000 capsizes reported over the last y years we can provide the Court with objective data on the number of capsizes that resulted in a safe recovery versus those that resulted in serious harm or worse. It is the gathering of such objective data that we seek this information.

No gathering of data = no stats. No defence if it ever comes to Court. For example, by gathering such data nationally it is known that the danger from getting dressed in the morning has quite a surprising high rate of injury or even death!

We at BR are leading the way in comparisons with other sports. You can play your part by reporting incidents where there has been a chance of injury even though none has occurred. Airlines report near misses on a no blame basis and we intend to do the same. Self-reporting will never lead to BR instigating action against a club. The system is there to help you self analyse.

Fin loss example

Similarly, if you report the location of the fin loss and we find it is regularly in the same places, we can build up a risk assessment map of locations where we need to be more careful. Such data provision is useful not only for prevention but also for accounting costs and insurance provision.

See guidance culled from RowSafe below:

Examples of incident types you need to report. (NOTE that this is not just on the water but everything to do with rowing and the club wherever so situated)

Capsize or falling out of boat through: inexperience, contact with another rowing boat, contact with other object, equipment or boat failure.

Collision through: contact with static object, moving object, navigation issue, poor visibility or lighting. Collision of boat with rigger on or off the rack, collision of body with boat (head on rigger for example), collision of rigger with boat (rigger damage on rack) etc etc.

Swamping through: rough water, collision with other rowing boat, collision with other object, wash.

Health related: manual handling, respiratory, hypothermia, heat stress, water-borne disease. (only report infected blisters – ignore normal ones!).

Equipment failure: boat buoyancy, riggers, gates, seats/feet, steering equipment, bowball, blades/sculls, safety/coaching/rescue launch, PFD’s, throw lines, racking

Land training due to: weight training, circuit training, running, cycling, indoor rowing, slips/trips

Behaviour: vandalism/violence. Bad navigation. 
Help us to help you improve your safety – even near misses provide important learning points


Individual Persons
The Club’s Responsibility for action to
The Coach’s Responsibility for action to:
Competition Organisers and Competition Water Safety Adviser
Club Rowing Safety Adviser
Regional Rowing Safety Adviser
Local Authority