Navigating the River and Surrounding Canals

The River Derwent and Trent are our two local rivers.  They can get busy and potentially hazardous.  Please follow these simple club rules always, any breach of them may lead to a major injury and rejection from the club:

  1. Obey the instructions of the Police and the SALTWALK Team always.
  2. Always keep to the right hand side of the centre line of the river or canal
  3. If passing through the central arch of a bridge, keep to the right hand side of that arch.
  4. Keep out of the way of rowers.
  5. Rowers are a hazard. There are two rowing clubs on the Trent one at Burton Upon Trent and one at the final section of water in Nottingham and there are two rowing clubs on the Derwent (Derby Rowing Club and the Derwent Rowing club).  All clubs have been informed of our use of the water and we will let each other know if there are events which need special consideration or avoidance.
  6. Paddles should beware of approaching rowers and assume they cannot be seen. If there is danger of collision, shout “Ahead Rowing Boat” very loudly and change

Potential Challenge Hazards and Risks

  1. All other board traffic including rowing boards with limited rearwards visibility presents a potential hazard. Class V passenger vessels, moored barges and large boards berthed on the Trent, are to be avoided always. Never approach or attempt to moor up to tethered boards as you may be swept under them. Allow powered craft to use the centre of the canal as they require more draft. Remember that other boards are generally less manoeuvrable than stand up paddle boards.
  2. Road traffic when portaging across roads.
  3. Stakes in the water and other submerged obstacles can easily damage inflatable or carbon boards
  4. Low bridges can cause serious head injury.  It is your responsibility to manage your own safety on the water at all times.
  5. Trees in the river can be a serious risk of entrapment and drowning. If in doubt, you must inform the SALTWALK team.  If these tree increase risk of flooding, we will inform the Environment Agency.   It is your responsibility to manage your own safety on the water always.
  6. Do not drink canal or river water.
  7. Do not trespass.
  8. Aggressive swans. Nesting birds are dangerous.  Portage when they are actively aggressive.
  9. Extreme weather in the UK can cause anything from sunburn and heatstroke to exposure and hypothermia. Be aware of the risks of wearing inadequate or inappropriate clothing especially at night. Always dress for the conditions, remember long-sleeved and long-legged thermals help retain heat when wet. Lots of spare clothing is advised.
  10. Dehydration, severe fatigue, cuts, bruises and severe blistering can all be expected.
  11. Locks & Weirs – Always portage and keep well clear especially during times of high river levels.
  12. Weil’s Disease is a RARE but very serious illness. It is cause by bacteria carried in the urine of rats (and some other animals), which get into the waterways. Full guide to prevention and treatment is contained HERE

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