This Sunday (23rd) there is a Barrier closure between 10am and 5pm. This means the flow on the river may become slack. May I remind all clubs to navigate according to what the water flow is doing and not according to the tide tables. Also be aware about rowing on slack water, page 36 of the Tideway Code.
The Met Office have a Yellow Warning for wind between 18:00 Thu 20th and 09:00 Fri 21st and between 09:00 Sun 23rd and 09:00 Mon 24th. Please be careful when deciding which crews should go out and consider using sheltered reaches.
The strong winds have already bought down some large branches which are now in the river. I was made aware of one this morning between the Mile Post and Harrods. If you do see any large branches that have come down please notify myself or the PLA on VTS so that the obstruction can be removed.
Rowing Safety Adviser | Thames Regional Rowing Council
Sunset is now at about 7.30pm so any evening outings are will require lights on the boat. Having a correctly lit boat is not just a PL requirement, it's also a legal requirement. The club has suitable lights so please use them - and recharge them afterwards.
It's also advisable to where light or white kit when out in dark conditions
These will almost certainly have an effect on the predicted tide. Remember to always navigate according to the direct of the visible stream, even if it contradicts what the tide table say should be happening.
In a few weeks summer will end, but already the nights are beginning to draw in with 15 minutes difference between sunrise in a week. Can you remind any crews boating in the evenings that they should consider if they need lights. The chances are that the batteries for lights haven’t been changed from when they were last used in the spring. Check that the batteries are in good condition and replace if necessary. Many clubs are beginning to have good lights for their boats and I will name Latymer School, as a club who have shown what is possible.
Cygnet have USB charged lights that simply attach to the boat decks with a strong magnetic tape. It couldn't be easier so no excuses. The lights and charger are (or should be) with the cox boxes.
BBC weather publish sunrise and sunset times and legally your boat must be correctly lit if out before sun rise or after sunset. Details are in the Rowing Code (page 15 & 16) or see below. Also note the bit about wearing bright or white clothing in low light
I think you will have noticed that a large barge has been moored projecting into the turning gap. There have already been some incidents of crews being swept on to the barge. We are hoping to get the PLA to accept that the positioning of that barge is hazardous to rowers, especially weaker ones. To do that we need to be able present the PLA with a report every time a crew has difficulties in the gap, however minor.
So, please ask your members to inform you every time they have difficulties so they or you can generate a report. It will be the only way we can prove to the PLA what happens at the Gap.