NRR Safety Policy
  1. General: The number one rule of rowing with Navesink River Rowing is easily stated and on some occasions, quickly discarded: USE COMMON SENSE! No matter how specific the rules, there will always be situations that are not covered. If a situation doesn’t feel right, you should either not row or if you are, get off the water ASAP. Likewise, if you see a fellow NRR member doing something that doesn’t look safe, speak up.
  2. Membership Requirements: All new NRR members are required to certify their health condition and swimming ability. Before a member can row with NRR, they must pass a swim test consisting of a 50-yard swim, treading water, and donning a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Instructions on how and options of where to complete the swim test are found at NRR Swim Test. Adults taking Adult Beginner Lessons are under close supervision and are not required to take a swim test until they become full members.
  3. Rowing Area: The rowing area for all NRR-owned boats is the Navesink River between the Route 35 bridge to the west and the Oceanic Bridge to the east. A map is provided at Navesink River Rowing Map and is posted on the shed door at our site. Rowing is normally conducted in a counterclockwise direction, proceeding on the south side (Fair Haven, Rumson) of the river heading east and the north side (Middletown) heading west. Minimize time spent in the boating channel and cross the river perpendicular to the standard tracks. In north wind conditions, the north cove (Blossom Cove) can be utilized to provide a lee, and in south wind conditions, the south cove (Hospital Cove) can be utilized. In doing so, rowers must use additional caution and keep track of other rowers in the cove. A good practice is to establish a rowing pattern with other rowers before launching. Before rowing, use the logbook in the main shed, indicating your departure and expected arrival times as well as identifying your boat. Sign back in when you return. In addition, if the boat needs maintenance attention, indicate the issue in the maintenance log and if a safety concern, place yellow tape on the rigger.
  4. Environmental: a. 90-degree rule – Rowing in the Navesink in the early spring or late fall can be dangerous and the risk of hypothermia to an immersed rower is significant. US Rowing provides great guidance in Cold Weather Precautions. NRR’s specific cold weather rowing policy is as follows:  (a) Rowing is prohibited when the Navesink water temperature is less than 50 degrees F or the total of the air temperature and water temperature is below 90 degrees F. Youth Training, limited to quads, may take place when the water temperature is 45 degrees or above and the total of the air temperature and water temperature is at least 90 degrees. Fully equipped safety launches must accompany the quads. NRR will establish start and stop dates for the general rowing season and for the closely supervised youth spring training.   (b) Time of day – Rowing can start 30 minutes before sunrise and must be completed before 30 minutes after sunset. Although not advisable, if you row when it is still dark, boat lights must be utilized (rower provided). Specific guidance on lighting options is found on the website.  (c) Wind, chop, tide, fog – It is difficult to set specific guidelines for water conditions. If from the north or south, you may be able to safely row in winds up to 10 mph (see Rowing Area discussion), while 5 mph winds blowing east or west on the river may create unsafe conditions. Make sure your rowing skills match the water conditions. Although not required, rowers are encouraged to have a PFD in their boat. The club provides stowable PFDs. An individually owned wearable PFD may be purchased. In the event that you capsize, stay with your boat until either you get back in or help arrives. Guidance on how to get back into your boat can be found at Getting Back in the Boat.
  5. NRR Equipment: All NRR-owned shells, oars, launches, vehicles, and trailers are for club use only unless approved by the NRR board. Only licensed adult coaches and adult members may drive club-owned trucks. Only those holding a current Boating Safety Certificate may operate launches.
  6. Youth Programs: Youth rowing programs are conducted by the NRR coaching staff during scheduled practice sessions. Coaches in motorized launches equipped with PFDs closely accompany NRR youth during each practice. There may be no more than 3 boats per coach-staffed launch. Youth programs primarily use quads, although advanced rowers may be exposed to doubles or singles at the coach’s discretion. Before rowing in a double or single, the youth rower must pass a ‘flip test’, demonstrating the ability to get back into the boat. Youth may not row in a single or double without being accompanied by an adult coach. Additional safety procedures are included in the Youth Competitive Rowing Manual.
  7. Athlete Protection: NRR is committed to protecting our athletes from forms of misconduct including bullying; harassment; hazing; emotional misconduct; physical misconduct; and sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse. Coaches and volunteers that have direct contact with our youth programs undergo a background check and complete required training. Policies and procedures are found in the Navesink River Rowing Athlete Protection Handbook.