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Rowers and ferry masters encouraged to share waterways safely

Transport for NSW have announced the release of a new safety video to encourage rowers and ferry masters to use shared waterways safely.

Maritime Management Centre General Manager, Howard Glenn said the aim of the Row Safe video is to educate rowing crews and avoid taking unnecessary risks making waterways safer for everyone.

'It’s great to see people active and out on the water, but it’s important to be aware of the etiquette and laws so that vessels of all sizes can share the waterways safely,' Mr Glenn said.

'For rowers, the essential rules are to be seen, keep a proper look out and keep to the right.'

The need for the video stems from ongoing compliance issues with rowers on the Parramatta River and in Port Jackson. Boating Safety Officers have reported the cause of issues is often the newer or inexperienced members of the rowing community.

'Most of the issues that occur on the water can easily be avoided with some basic courtesy and an understanding of the rules,' Mr Glenn said.

'Through discussions with the Rowing Steering Committee within Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), members wanted an instructional video for all new school and rowing club members to watch.

'Rowing is a sport with a rich history that demands fitness and coordination, but like all other vessels on the waterways, the crew on a rowing vessel must obey some fundamental rules for safe navigation,' Mr Glenn said.

The video, called Row Safe, has been developed with consultation between boating safety officers, RMS, the Maritime Management Centre and other key stakeholders, and focuses on:

• Rowing safety.
• Rules of the waterways.
• Waterway courtesy.
• Keeping to the right.
• What to do when a ferry is approaching or departing a wharf.
• Appropriate lighting and visibility of rowing vessels.
• Rower’s and ferry aspect (what a real time view looks like).

The video also focuses on the responsibilities and guidelines for support and coaching boats that operate adjacent to rowing crews.

'At the recent NSW Schoolboy Head of the River event held on Sunday 9 March, the video was promoted to students, highlighting the importance of the safety initiative to these young rowers,' Mr Glenn said.

The video can be viewed below and a copy of the DVD will be sent to Sydney schools involved in rowing as well as Sydney rowing clubs.

Row Safe is an extension of a broader Maritime Policy Agenda campaign to promote safe and responsible use of non-powered craft such as paddle and oared vessels.

For further information or to obtain a copy of the video please contact the Maritime Management Centre via email on

by Transport for NSW


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8:29 AM Thu 27 Mar 2014GMT

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