Charity no 1161250
Charity no  1161250 Water Row, Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE158NL
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Water Safety

We row on a big, tidal river, full of interest and variety, sometimes a challenge, never the same one day to the next and always fascinating. It’s a great river for our sport.

Yes, there are hazards, but if you read the material on this page and follow up the links, you will be well equipped to deal with whatever the Tyne might throw at you.
Capsize drill at Outer West Pool 2 Nov 14
Swim test and capsize drill for new members at Outer West Pool on 2 November 2014

Row Safe
Follow the lin to check out British Rowing's RowSafe water safety guidance revised and re-issued in December 2016. Everyone who rows (or is thinking of taking up rowing) should read this guide.

Tyne Safety Code
Familiarise yourself with the
Tyne Safety Code, last revised in June 2010. It is accompanied by a Safety Map - see next section. It was written by people who row at the various clubs based at Newburn, with assistance from other water sports and river-related organisations.

The Code will tell you what you need to know about local conditions on the Tyne and the guidance we have prepared to help keep you safe on this river: which side to row on, where our training and beginners areas are and what hazards to look out for and avoid.

Safety Map
The Tyne Safety Map has recently been revised - the version you can download below was issued in December 2013. It is over two pages in one pdf document - prints best at A3. The two sheets are: 
West sheet - Wylam to Blaydon, including the club at Newburn
East sheet - Blaydon to Newcastle city centre 

As the maps illustrate, the Tyne upstream of the club becomes very rural, pretty and tree-lined (with some hazards, though); downstream it begins to get more industrial (though nothing compared with what it was a 100 years ago) - with a changing waterfront, bridges and mudbanks to negotiate and lots of wildlife especially birds (and more hazards).

Club Safety Rules
Then you should see the Club’s own 
Safety Rules. We’ve tried to keep these simple, sensible and to a minimum but we do ask all our members to follow these basics, even if you are using your own boat and equipment. It's in everyone’s best interests.

Launch driving
The club arrangements for training and assessing launch drivers is under review as at December 2016. We are moving towards requiring all launch drivers to have RYA Level 2 Powerboat (Inland) certificates.

Event risk assessment and safety plan
In autumn 2013 we updated and consolidated two previous documents into one. This is for use at all rowing events on the Tyne run or hosted by the club at Newburn. You can download a pdf version below. Again this is under review and is to be expanded to cover all activities at the club..

Annual audit
We send in an annual safety audit to British Rowing in November. See the latest return here. It should be noted that quite a lot of items are under review and a complete revamp of safety arrangements will get underway in early 2017 (though current practices are generally sound and do not require fundamental change).

Online incident reporting
Incident reports If you have an incident or witness one please use British Rowing's online incident reporting - go to This is not about blame or shame: it's to help the club monitor risks and hazards and if necessary take action to improve safety. If we don’t know what little accidents or near misses are happening to you, we can’t do anything to help.

Need more?
Queries? Something to say to us on water safety? Please don’t hesitate to contact the club Water Safety Adviser, Colin Percy, at or on 07985003304.

This page last updated 08-12-16.

Water safety contact

Colin Percy
Explore Rowing Coordinator & Water Safety Adviser
07985 003304
Click for British Rowing web site
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