Cygnets bungalow is subject to different navigation and safety rules from the Tideway. This page details navigation specific to this part of the Thames.
The upriver navigation rules are much simpler than those on the Tideway:
- Always keep to the right starboard/right-hand side of the river (in the direction of travel)
- A simple reminder for scullers is to keep the green tape on your starboard/bowside blade closest to the [green] bank
- When approaching another vessel head on, you should aim to move to starboard/bowside
- There is a local one-way system around D'Oyly Carte Island for rowing boats
- Be aware that the weir stream will affect your course. If above a weir you will be drawn towards it, if below, pushed away from it. The water below a weir is also particularly turbulent and should be navigated with caution.
Always keep a good Look out - every 3 to 5 strokes
There are many more pleasure craft on this stretch and the river is generally narrower than the Tideway. There are also rowers from four other clubs, canoeists, sailors, fishermen, ferries, water fowl, weirs and bridges so keeping a good lookout is still extremely important even if steering off the bank is easier.
Click on diagrams to enlarge
The Environment Agency operates a River Thames conditions update service (similar to the PLA fluvial flag system on the Tideway) which displays current advice to river users, informing them of conditions that may make navigating difficult or dangerous.
Such conditions are due to the amount of water coming downriver (fluvial flow). In general this is only usually an issue over the winter months when there is more rainfall but it can still very much affect the river in spring and autumn. Of particular concern to those boating from the Bungalow is the weir-stream which can be ferocious (and dangerous) during periods of high water flow.
The River Thames conditions updates can be obtained from two different sources:
• Coloured warning boards located at the locks (nearest lock is Shepperton)
• Online at riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk
The system is very simple and consists of three colour-coded levels:
WHITE BOARD: Normal conditions
Navigate as usual. Staying to starboard and keeping a good lookout.
YELLOW: Conditions require caution
Online, yellow will be shown as stream increasing or decreasing
Novices or inexperienced rowers (both in sculling boats or dinghies) are advised not to go afloat and experienced rowers should seriously consider all the consequences before deciding whether they are experienced enough to cope with the conditions. A 'buddy' system should be adopted for those that do go afloat and rowers should also take a mobile phone in case of emergencies.
RED: Conditions are dangerous
Do not go afloat