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Introduction for all River Users
Respect others, Respect Safety, Respect the environment
This Code of Conduct is for all users of the River Thames
  • Henley to Cookham can be a very busy stretch of river
    - keep alert at all times and proceed with caution
  • Look out especially for swimmers, canoes, anglers' lines, sailing boats, rowing craft of all sizes and children in inflatable craft (note that swimmers on this reach should swim on the left, ie against normal traffic)
  • Be aware: river water is often cold & unsafe
  • Know the rules of the river - Environment Agency advice and guidance can be found via link below
  • Anglers: be aware that other river users cannot see where your lines have been cast. If there is a risk that your lines will obstruct other river users or be cut then you should be prepared to reel in.
  • Fishing with long poles severely decreases room for boats to manoeuvre, especially when being overtaken themselves. Anglers should be prepared to bring poles in to avoid damage to their tackle or passing vessels.
  • Also see specific Codes for:
                  Powered boat skippers,
                  Sailors, Rowers & Canoeists,
                  Swimmers
Keep alert at all times and look out for information and warning signs
PLEASE LEAVE THE RIVER BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT!

For further information go to: http://visitriverthames.co.uk
and always check: http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk
For POWERED BOATS
  • Cookham Reach can be the busiest on the Thames, with 2 sailing clubs and many rowing boats & canoes often on the river keep alert at all times and proceed with caution.
  • Look out for swimmers, anglers, sailing boats, rowing craft of all sizes and children in inflatable craft. Remember we recommend swimmers swim towards other river traffic on our reach.
    Keep a good look out and be prepared to stop.
  • When approaching sailing dinghies, slow down to maintain minimum steerage speed and keep as close to the right hand bank as your draught will safely allow.  Sailing Clubs in our reach have agreed to use passing motor boats as a false bank and dinghies, whether racing or not, should turn early.
    The Rules of the River still require motor boats to give way to sail, so be prepared to stop to avoid a collision.
  • Longridge Boat Centre hosts many water sports - most involve teaching young people. Proceed with extreme caution in the vicinity of Longridge and be prepared to stop. Many of the youngsters may not be fully aware of the Rules of the River.
  • Rowing boats will generally need to overtake motor boats.  The rule of the river is that an overtaking boat must remain clear, so keep as close to the right hand bank as your draught allows to give the rowers as much room as possible to overtake midstream.
  • Anglers may be fishing with long rods and lines cast a significant distance into the river.  Give anglers plenty of room where it is safe to do so and avoid cutting corners on bends. At worst, picking up a fishing line in your propeller could disable your boat and at best it could damage your stern gear. Select your engine(s) to neutral if in any doubt that you may pick up a line.
  • Be prepared to avoid canoeists, especially approaching sharp bends.  When encountering open canoes ensure you are not generating any wash as these craft may be unstable.
  • When encountering bridges or restriction in the width of the river, motor vessel travelling upstream should give way to any vessel travelling downstream.

For SAILORS, ROWERS AND CANOEISTS
BE SAFE AND BE SEEN

SAILING

  • Sailing dinghies should expect powered craft to motor slowly along the right hand bank.  Sailors should use the power boats as a false bank and turn early to avoid the power boat having to take avoiding action.
    The Rules of the River still require motor boats to give way to sail but all skippers are responsible for avoiding a collision so be prepared to emergency tack or hove to
  • Rowing boats should give way to sailing boats. Sailors should be aware that rowers are not facing their direction of travel and should be prepared to take avoiding action
  • Sailors should keep a good lookout for swimmers and take avoiding action if necessary

ROWING

  • Rowers should keep to the right hand side of the river unless overtaking when they should move out into the midstream until clear of the vessel being overtaken
  • Rowers should give way to sailing boats since these vessels are at the mercy of the wind
  • In tight confines such as narrow bends or when approaching a bridge, rowing boats travelling upstream should give way to all vessels going downstream.
  • Coaching launches should only exceed the speed limit (8kph or 5mph) if displaying a coaching pennant issued by the EA and engaged in coaching.  Travel from coaching one crew to another should be within the speed limit. Coaching should not be conducted in restricted areas of the river, in lock cuts or beside lock lay-bys as other boaters need room to manoeuvre in these areas.

CANOEING

  • Canoeist should keep to the right hand side of the river
  • In tight confines such as near a sharp bend or approaching a bridge, canoeists travelling upstream should give way to all vessels travelling downstream.
  • Canoeists overtaking other vessels should do so in midstream until clear of the overtaken vessel. 
 
For SWIMMERS
BE SAFE AND BE SEEN
  • Never swim unless you are fit and healthy
  • Children must be supervised at all times by an adult
  • Wear a high visibility swimming cap at all times
    • available from local Lockkeepers
  • Always bring a "swim-buddy"
    • a friend in a canoe or dinghy in front of you is best

  • Be aware: river water is often cold & unsafe for swimming
    • keep out of the river in dark or dangerous conditions
    • cover up cuts and avoid swallowing the water

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  • Keep LEFT so boaters can see you more easily & look out
    • especially for rowing boats, they may not see you at all
  • Have a plan on how to get help in an emergency
  • Know where you can get ashore
    • beware steep banks and overhanging trees
  • It is dangerous to swim near marinas or boatyards
  • Swimming in or near locks & weirs is strictly prohibited




 
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Last Update : Sunday November 5th 2017 4:53:01 - By: Steve