Rules of the River

Safety Briefing

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT

COVID-19:

  • Social distancing measures have been put in place – please follow at all times
  • Appropriate facilities for hand washing are available.
  • Please wash hands pre- and post-hire and avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cleaning of equipment that may be touched will be done between hires.

Safety Briefing:

  • You will be given a safety briefing prior to being allowed on the water and every person hiring a vessel from Thrupp Canoe and Kayak Hire must read and sign the ‘Health and Safety Disclaimer’.
  • The safety of the vessel and its occupants is the responsibility of the named hirer from departure to return. The main hirer must be over 18 years of age.

Personal Effects:

  • Personal effects are carried aboard our vessels at the hirer’s own risk so you are advised to lock all valuables in the boot of your car.
  • We are happy to look after your car keys in the office.

Life Jackets/buoyancy aids:

  • Life jackets of various sizes are available and you must wear them at all times.

EMERGENCIES – IF YOU ARE IN TROUBLE!

  • We strongly advise that you carry a mobile phone with you and that it is placed either in a waterproof day sack or in a waterproof compartment when aboard your vessel.
  • Do NOT carry it in your pocket!!!
  • In the event of a medical or life-threatening emergency please dial 999.
  • In the event of any technical difficulty please dial either the boat office on 07425 629188 or 01865 3761736 for assistance.

ON THE WATER

Getting in and out of your Canoe/Kayak:

  • Be careful getting into the vessel.
  • Check that your seat is not wet before you do get in!
  • Sit on the edge of the bank, place your hands on the sides of the vessel and shuffle your bottom across, keeping a low centre of gravity.
  • Sit down as quickly as possible.
  • DO NOT STAND UP IN YOUR CANOE OR KAYAK… You have been warned!

Getting onto your Hydrobike:

  • Be careful getting onto the vessel.
  • Step carefully from the bank onto either of the blue side decks, putting one leg over the saddle of the bike.
  • Never step onto the yellow pontoons as this could cause damage to them or capsize the bike.
  • The craft is steered and pedalled like a bicycle.
  • The craft can be driven in reverse by peddling backwards.
  • When you return to the dock at the end of the hire, please do NOT attempt to remove the craft from the water without first lifting the rudder and propellor.
  • Ask a member of staff to help you with this.
  • Disembark from the blue platform onto the bank.
  • Hydrobikes are very stable and you can stand on the blue side decks without capsizing.

Falling in from a Canoe or Kayak:

  • Most of the canal is between 3 to 5 feet deep (apart from at some locks).
  • If you fall in, try to keep your mouth shut and do not swallow any water!
  • Don’t try to get back into your canoe or kayak from the water.
  • Stand up and walk to the towpath side of the canal, dragging your vessel with you.
  • Get out of the canal and back into your canoe or kayak from the towpath.
  • Make sure you have a hot shower as soon as possible to avoid any contamination.

Falling in from a Paddleboard or Hydrobike:

  • Most of the canal is between 3 to 5 feet deep (apart from at some locks).
  • If you fall in, try to keep your mouth shut and do not swallow any water!
  • You can try to get back onto your paddleboard or hydrobike from the water as they are stable enough to allow this.
  • If you are unable to do this from the water, then stand up and walk to the towpath side of the canal, dragging your vessel with you.
  • Get out of the canal and back onto your vessel from the towpath.
  • Make sure you have a hot shower as soon as possible to avoid any contamination.

Narrowboat Paint:

  • If you find yourself close to a moored narrowboat, you MUST NOT use your paddle to push yourself away as your paddles can scratch the paintwork and upset the owners.
  • Please use your hand to gently propel yourself away from the side of the boat.
  • Hydrobikes can be reversed.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE…

Navigation and Narrowboats:

  • International Water Traffic laws state that you keep to the right.
  • We recommend you use the centre of the canal but give way to other craft (see below).
  • Remember that as you are low on the water you can be difficult to see.
  • The most mobile craft give way to less mobile craft – so you give way to everything!
  • Remember, a canal boat weighs 20 tonnes BUT a canoe or kayak weighs only 50 kg, a hydrobike a little more and a paddleboard rather less
  • You really don’t want to “argue” with a narrowboat!

Locks and Weirs:

  • Locks control the flow of the water and can be dangerous.
  • UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU ENTER A LOCK IN ANY VESSEL.
  • All vessels MUST be taken out of the water before the lock and carried around.
  • Never attempt to lift a boat designed for lifting by two people on your own.
  • Keep a straight back and the weight as close to your centre of gravity as possible.
  • Whilst lifting and carrying don’t turn your spine – turn your whole body.
  • When approaching a lock, keep in mind possible weirs
  • Weirs are well marked and must be avoided.
  • The Routes of Navigation are well marked and you must always follow these.
  • Stay on the far side of the river away from the Weir.

Bridges:

  • As water flows from a wider to a narrower gap it speeds up as it is forced through.
  • Paddle/peddle in the centre of the gap and right through the bridge until the water slows again.
  • Keep eyes and ears open for powered vessels and hold back if you see/hear them coming up to a bridge.
  • The most mobile craft give way to less mobile craft – so you give way to everything!

Fishermen:

  • Angling is popular on this stretch of water so please be alert to people sitting on the bank, sometimes hidden between narrowboats.
  • They may have a long pole and line in the water so keep sufficient distance from them to avoid entanglement.

Weil’s Disease/Leptospirosis:

  • Whilst rare, human infection occurs through exposure to contamination from infected animal urine, most commonly rats and cattle.
  • Leptospirosis can enter the body through a cut or damaged skin, but may also pass across damaged or intact mucous membranes and the eyes.
  • Symptoms begin between 3 and 21 days after exposure, with an influenza-like illness with severe headache, high fever, tiredness, chills, muscle aches and vomiting.
  • See your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
  • If you do fall in the water, please take a hot shower as soon as is practicable.