Red Board Procedure

When the river is in flood the National Trust indicates that the navigation is closed by placing a RED BOARD on the Clubhouse wall


When the river is in flood the National Trust indicates that the navigation is closed by placing a RED BOARD in the frame on the Clubhouse wall. The RED BOARD is controlled by the National Trust and no Club member may remove it or ignore it. Under most conditions this indicates that no crews are allowed to row.


There are times when the river is in flood, but conditions are not bad enough to pose an unacceptable level of risk to experienced rowers. The YELLOW BOARD procedures have been developed with the National Trust to allow rowing to take place under careful control of Authorised Club Members. The Club controls the YELLOW BOARDS.
If the system is abused the Club may lose this concession from the National Trust and, if we damage a boat whilst rowing in flood conditions, it is unlikely the Club insurance company will pay.

  • This authorisation is personal to you. You may not delegate the responsibilities contained within it to any other member of the rowing club.

  • It applies solely to a crew for which you take personal responsibility either as a member of the crew or as a coach. You must be in direct control of the crew throughout the outing.

  • Crews who have no authorised member in charge may not go out when the YELLOW and/or RED BOARD is displayed, under any circumstances.

  • Single scullers are forbidden from rowing when the RED BOARD is displayed unless accompanied on the bank or by another sculler or crew.

  • Before an outing you must carry out a risk assessment as laid out below. This takes into account:

o The type of boat; doubles & fours pose lower levels of risk compared to singles and pairs

o Other crews already on the water.
o The experience and age of the crew.
o Wind conditions.
o Stream conditions and the degree to which the sluice gates opposite the Club are open.
o Any obstructions in or on the river.

At the end of the outing the risk assessment must be signed off and filed with the incident reports

YELLOW BOARDS may be used in the following circumstances: No RED BOARD displayed

There are occasions when the navigation is open for use but conditions increase the level of risk. The advice to all members is IF IN DOUBT DO NOT GO OUT.

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Should any of the authorised members consider boating conditions are approaching unsafe then the following procedures must be followed:

  • An authorised member completes a risk assessment and if necessary takes direct control of members boating.

  • A YELLOW BOARD is displayed to indicate river conditions.

  • Only crews with an authorised member in the crew or coaching a crew will be allowed to remain on the river once a yellow board has been posted. The authorised member who has done the risk assessment and posted the YELLOW BOARD is responsible for ensuring any non authorised crews come off the water.

    RED BOARD displayed

    There are occasions when the RED BOARD is displayed, but conditions may be considered suitable for some crews to go out with acceptable risk. In these circumstances an authorised member completes a risk assessment as above. If the risk is judged sufficiently low a YELLOW BOARD may be displayed alongside the RED BOARD and crews with an authorised member in the crew or coaching may then boat.

    As the authorising member you are responsible for briefing all crew members of the increased risks involved in rowing in Red Board conditions. You should also monitor the behaviour, attitude and physical condition of crew members to ensure levels of awareness and fitness remain high throughout the outing. You should consider carefully how you will exercise this level of supervision and control; it is recommended that you position yourself on the riverbank rather than on the water.

    You are one of a limited number of Club Members with this authorisation. If you are unclear or have any concerns about the procedure please contact the Captain, Steve Wright, or Club Water Safety Advisor – Danny Skillman (mobile: 07710 287369).