Water is always a dangerous environment : other boats (notably distracted rowers and barges ), risk of drowning, floating obstacles, limited clearance under bridges, slippery banks. insulation
Each rower is above all responsible for his own security and that of others. He must also prevent damage to equipment by correct use. Incidents should be reported in the outing register.



General Emergencies : 112
Medical and Fire Rescue Department : 100
Gendarmes and Police :101
Poison Information : 02 345 45 45


Port de Bruxelles
Place des Armateurs, 6
1000 Bruxelles
Tél.: + 32 (0)2 420 67 00Fax : + 32 (0)2 420 69 74

Rue de l'Avant-port, 2 - Bte 1
+ 32 (0)2 247 91 20
Tél.: + 32 (0)2 247 91 20
ou + 32 (0)2 215 69 25
Fax : + 32 (0)2 215 32 66

Locks & Bridges
Buda bridge & port approach + 32 (0)2 421 67 49 ou + 32 (0)2 268 06 94
South port; Molenbeek lock + 32 (0)2 421 57 48 ou + 32 (0)2 521 28 60
Hospices lift bridge + 32 (0)2 421 57 47
Anderlecht lock + 32 (0)2 421 57 46 ou + 32 (0)2 522 31 35
Sea-Canal ( north of viaduct)
Oostdijk 110
2830 Willebroek
Tel. 03-860 62 11

Harbourmaster Service
Capt. N. Van Hoecke
Oostdijk 110
2830 Willebroek
Tel. 03-860 62 94
Fax 03-860 63 05

Sea-Canal Department
Oostdijk 110
2830 Willebroek
Tel. 03-860 62 11
Fax. 03-860 63 03


Most of the time, capsizing is without consequence. However, in certain circumstances, it can quickly turn to disaster. Since it is never possible to totally avoid what happens, we should adopt an attitude of prevention: take precautions and give precise instructions.

To initial trainers
Do your rowers know how to swim?
Club Security regulations require rowers and coxes to be able to swim 100 metres and to climb out.
A certificate of aptitude is requested from practicing adults or legal representation for minors. These are the minimum rules imposed by our safety regulations.
In addition to this legal disposition, you ought to assure yourself that your rowers, notably the young ones, are capable of swimming in training kit, in the real environment or in the swimming pool. You can, for example, organize tests of aquatic movement in the pool during a session at the beginning of the year. These are not in any way compulsory or official, but they do give you an idea of actual swimming abilities, thereby enabling you to put in place appropriate safety measures for each person.

What is the physical condition of your rowers ?
The development of rowing makes it accessible to a great number of people and to an occasionally sportive public.
In case of capsize, physical condition plays an important rôle. It is therefore necessary to respect some essential rules:
• evaluate each one's physical level
• evaluate the level of experience of each one in order to entrust them with boats best adapted
• make a prebording warm-up a systematic procedure, even for a few minutes
• avoid rowing by those who have eaten nothing or after a substantial meal
• wearing caps and forbidding bare chests in sunny weather

What procedure must you follow ?
In all circumstances
• launch the safety boat and start the motor, above all, put rowing boats on the water
• keep rowers in visual contact, throughout
• keep a GSM phone with club monitors numbers in the memory (Jean-Marc, Alberty, Marc, etc ) in a watertight box to call the clubhouse and duty monitors.

In case of capsize :
• intervene quickly (remember to cut the motor near the capsized boat to avoid injuring rowers with the propeller.) Don't forget that in water of 3 or4 degrees, personal survival time is only a few minutes
• bring help to rowers before recovering equipment
• call for help (112) as fast as possible if you judge it required

keep a GSM phone with club monitors numbers in the memory (Jean-Marc, Alberty, Marc, etc ) in a watertight box to call the clubhouse and duty monitors.
keep close to the bank
never attempt to swim to the bank in case of capsize, even if it appears close. On water, it is difficult to estimate distances. Furthermore, it is not easy to swim fully dressed in more or less cold water, having already made physical effort. Circumstances are abnormal and do not compare with the swimming pool. No-one is immune to fainting, even the best swimmer
• never leave your boat but haul yourself aboard the upright hull. It should serve as.a flotation device
to keep the chest out of water to resist cold. These simple recommendations allow you to wait
for help safely, even in the worst weather conditions.
• Only go to the bank if no-one can bring help. In this case use the boat or oars as floats. Move yourself by kicking or "rowing" with the hands. The only reason that justifies swimming to the bank is a drifting boat which is close to an immediate and important danger, such as a weir, or a bridge abutment or commercial barge .
To coxes
In order to avoid being trapped in an overturned boat :
do not place rudder lines around your body in case you are unable to disentangle yourself
never wear a life jacket when you are in the forward position, as the reserve of buoyancy presses you against the boat and prevents you from escaping
Because the cox is often emcumbered with extra clothing to protect against cold and rain, rowers should check after a capsize
• that he is clear
• that he can haul himself out with those on the hull
• that he can divest himself if necessary from his clothing (boots, oilskin, gloves, anorak) (which) could drag him to the bottom
Boat equipment
Your equipment must conform to rules of navigation, to security rules set out by the club and in a good state to minimize risks.
A few rules must also be observed to avoid increasing the risk of capsize.
• teach rowers not to tighten shoe laces or velcro so that the feet are not trapped. Boots keep the rower in the boat, but must be releasable in all circumstances. The heal fixing cord, obligatory accoprding to racing rules, is there to facilitate this manœuvre without use of hands
• teach rowers to verify closure of covers and bungs. Covers, placed on each chamber, permit ventilation between outings. They must be closed correctly before embarking, in order that the boat does not leak in case of capsize and plays its role of allowing rowers to await help safely.
In case of capsize, these instructions must be respected :
• do not panic
• check that everybody has surfaced, particularly the cox
• hang on to the boat and oars
• keep the chest out of the water
• do not be tempted to swim even if one is a good swimmer
• leave the boat only in case of urgent danger ( drifting towards a weir, a bridge or a barge)
• in the least problem, if you cannot recover from it on your own, contact the club and monitors on GSM, or in case of danger call Emergency (no. 112)
Study the Navigation Rules !
Keep to your bank
Watch for barges and their wakes
Put your boat parallel waves
Look around every ten strokes
NEVER cross in front of a barge
Commercial traffic always has priority
Anticipate actions of other boats
Be fair to anglers
To prevent accidents, do not hesitate to shout
When you are in the safety boat, be aware that the propeller does not chop those whom you are helping !
Watch out for material sliding from the banks
Outings on the water in winter - A few specific recommendations without losing sight of reality!
Rowing in winter has a distinctive character but because of low air temperature same as for the water, careful precautions should be applied because to capsize in icy water can have deadly consequences.
An immersion in winter brings on muscular cramps in a few minutes, a reduction in capacity to swim, indeed cardiac arrest.
For our rowers, that means :
- row if possible in a team boat (4- /x -8+ )
- only experienced rowers should venture out on the water in a skiff
- wear a life-jacket for outings in small boats (1x – 2-/x)
- outings in smallboats only in groups and accompanied by a motor boat
- do not move away from the bank
- wear enough clothes (in various layers), special rowing gloves etc.
- only go out on the water if weather conditions are favourable and stable during the time of training
- check the boat equipment before going out (in particular the thole-pin, rowlocks and the shoes (with safety cord), etc.
- take along a GSM in a watertight sachet (with the emergency call number programmed ), a whistle and / or an alarm flare.
- in case of capsize : - do not stray from the boat
o Immediately try to climb back into the boat and row in direction of the bank
o Leave the boat on the bank and run to the closest house to get warm
o Inform the club and organize help
o In case climbing back in the boat is impossible, hang on to the hull, calling for help and pushing the boat in the direction of the bank.