Safety Alert - Rower Collapse

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Action in the Event of a Rower's Collapse

Based on the procedure outlined on the "British Rowing" website


  • and is:-
  • - not responding to gentle shaking or shouting;
  • - not breathing normally;
  • - appears to be gasping;


2. Get the boat to the nearest accessible bank.

3. Lift the casualty - carefully - out of the boat and onto the bank.

4. Lie them on their back on the ground.

5. If still unresponsive, and not breathing normally (at least two breaths every 10 seconds):-

  • - open the airway;
  • - start chest compressions at 100 - 120 compressions per minute;
  • - two persons alternate, maintaining CPR without stopping;
  • - CPR is the priority; It supplies blood to the brain.
  • - NOTHING must interrupt it, until an AED (Defibrillator) arrives;
  • - then follow the instructions on and from the AED.

6. Other persons can be instructed to:-

  • - use the mobile phone to call 999 for an ambulance;
  • - identify the location, any landmarks and access points to the control room;
  • - phone or send for a defibrillator (an AED) if available;
  • - go to meet the ambulance and guide its crew to the casualty;

7. Do not attempt to do CPR in the boat - it is unlikely to be effective – unless there is serious delay in getting the casualty ashore. (Possibly lay oars along the thwarts as a base)

8. Do not spend time trying to feel for a pulse.

B. Be Prepared – Before It Happens!

1. Ensure everyone understands the basics of CPR.

2. Carry at least one mobile phone in a waterproof case in each boat.

3. Identify areas with poor mobile signal (NB 999 calls use any service provider)

4. Locate publicly available AEDs (defibrillators) in the vicinity.


  • A.There is definitely one on the side of the small Pump House, just past the Beccles Harbour Master's Office (and cafe!!) at The Quay, Beccles.
  • B. It is believed there is also one at "The Waveney House Hotel".
  • C. (Locations will be checked ASAP - any information will be welcomed)

5. Become familiar with the procedure and use of local AEDs.

6. Maintain – in each boat – a list of:-

potential landing places; ambulance access points; road names and numbers; landmarks; rendezvous points; AED (Defibrillator) locations;

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