Lantau Boat Club – Rowing Section

Section Safety Rules and Guidelines

Updated: 22 February 2017

1. LBC Membership application and renewal forms include the following:

“I/we agree to abide by the Articles and Rules of the Lantau Boat Club Ltd as stated in the Articles of Association, the club Bylaws, the section rules and this application form and agree to the terms and conditions stated on this page.”

2. Rowing section members are briefed on the following by email upon membership application / membership renewal and / or by referral to the club’s website:
  • A rower must be a competent swimmer and able to swim unassisted for at least 50mt, and to be able to recover from a capsize. A capsize is defined as the rower falling into the water with the boat either remaining upright, or overturning. Recover means being able to get back in the boat. Members will be tested for both Swimming and capsize recovering abilities. The club will keep the record of the test.
  • All equipment must be checked before going onto the water (oars, riggers, rigger support pads, gates firmly closed, bung and access port closed, no visible damage/cracks in the boat) and the boat should be cleaned before and after use. An oar or oarlock failure in a double scull, or bigger boat, would not normally be an emergency since the boat should be able to return unaided, but an oar or oarlock failure in a single scull can render the boat unstable and unrowable.
  • Rowers must wear proper sport apparel, fluorescent in color and made of a material that will not impede movements if wet. It is forbidden to row with heavy fleece, sweater that once in the water can ‘pull’ a swimmer under the water. It is also forbidden to row in any civil clothes.
  • Crews and scullers must keep a good lookout and be aware of other boats in front of them. If there is danger of a collision you must shout ‘AHEAD‘ as loud as you can at the other boat and simultaneously take avoiding action.
  • If two boats are on a direct head-on course towards each other, each boat must alter course to starboard, i.e. towards the rowers’ left hand side, or the coxswain’s right-hand side.
  • Take a mobile phone in the boat in a waterproof pouch programmed with the number of the 999 as ‘speed-dial’ app is recommended to facilitate emergency calls.
    • Marine Police: 2803 6247.
    • Discovery Bay Medical Centre: 2987 0200
    • Marine Department Operations Centre: 2385 2791 – also for reporting speed limit violators
    • Marine Department Vessel Traffic Centre: 2233 7801
  • It is strongly recommended that single scullers be accompanied by another boat and that both boats stay close enough to be able to render mutual assistance if needed.
  • The proficiency of scullers who would like to go outside the bay on their own must be vetted as per the committee’s instructions and specific safety rules as outlined below will apply.
  • When leaving the LBC row alongside the Headland and when returning to the LBC steer down the middle of the Bay towards the roped-off swimming area and then return to LBC along the beach. This is to help avoid scullers having head on collisions. If you are returning from the Sienna area keep well away from the Headland until you can turn into Discovery Bay.
  • DB ferries pass South of the Disney Rocks heading to Central and North of the Rocks coming back to DB. Rowing crews must show clear intention on the direction they are taking, and use best judgment for timing the crossing of the ferry lines and keeping away at all costs from incoming ferries and be aware of wakes generated by speeding Ferries.
    a. Same rules apply to other large vessels that are transiting in Discovery Bay area (i.e.
    Barges, Fishing Vessels, Marine Police or Marine Department vessels etc.)
  • Rowers must observe the following navigation rules at all times:
    a. Keep at least 50 metres away from any rocks, sea walls, or solid objects and remember that wind and waves can take you towards these if you have stopped rowing.
    b. Underwater rocks extending out about 100 metres from the headland below Crestmont so keep at least 150 metres away from the cliff face.
    c. When rowing round Peng Chau, be careful of the large rock between Peng Chau and the
    DB Marina and go outside the small island to the South-East of Peng Chau. There are underwater rocks between this small island and Peng Chau.
    d. Be particularly careful at low tide, when rocks that are normally underwater may be close to the surface, or exposed. The white buoy in front of the LBC marks a cluster of rocks that become exposed at very low tide.
    e. We are accustomed to the general lack of other vessels in and near to Discovery Bay, but complacency presents a danger. When leaving LBC take particular note of any other vessels in the bay and watch out for them when returning. Make sure you are aware of other boats and be aware that they may change their position and that other boats may have entered the area. Vessels trawling for fish may have smaller boats that fish closer inshore and these will frequently change their location.
    f. Be aware that persons in charge of other boats may not be aware that rowers might not have seen what is in front of them and they may fail to give warning of an impending collision until too late, or not give any warning at all.
    g. Crews must make themselves visible to other vessels by wearing fluorescent clothes.
  • Familiarize with the circulated document “Dangerous Areas – Rocks”. Such document has been posted on the LBC website and a laminated copy is posted at the Club House
3. Capsize recovery procedure

Capsize is more likely with a single sculling boat and usually results from getting an oar caught in the water at the finish of the stroke. The oar handle may continue round towards the bow and with the oar parallel to the boat the sculler can easily roll out of the boat. If this happens try to fall out cleanly and do not pull the boat over on top of you.

The recommended recovery technique is as follows:
A single sculling boat that is upside down can be righted by pressing down on a rigger with your foot. The rigger and its oar will be forced down and under the boat. 

With the boat on its side and the other rigger pointing upwards, pull the boat over. As the boat comes the right way up avoid being hit by a rigger, or an oar. With the boat the right way up, position yourself alongside the boat next to the seat, gather the oar handles together and hold them in the hand nearest the rigger, with oar blades flat on the water. Grasp the other side of the boat with your other hand, kick hard in the water and pull yourself on to the boat. Do not let go of the oar handles, or the boat will become uncontrollable. From this position you should be able to turn over so that you can put your feet in the clogs and then sit up and get back on the seat. 

Capsize recovery will form part of a sculling proficiency test to be introduced later

4. Safety rules for unaccompanied singles outside Tai Pak Bay

Single Scullers must:

  • have their proficiency level for use of singles vetted by the Committee,
  • book the boat through a rowing coordinator, or the on-line boat booking system,
  • fill in the logbook in the clubhouse BEFORE going out and indicate the planned destination and expected time of return,
  • must carry a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch with the 999 emergency number programmed and set up emergency numbers/family contacts for ‘speed-dial’,
  • must carry on the boat an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD),
  • must wear a Fluorescent color top or T-shirt (yellow/white/orange/light blue). No dark colors to be worn;
  • must tell someone (family member, friend – or a committee member) where they are going and when they plan to return and
  • must let that person know when they are back, complete the logbook and indicate any incident/accident.
5. Equipment damage & failure / Accidents / Incidents

All equipment damage & failure and any emergency situation, accident or incident which may have incurred during an outing, MUST be indicated in the logbook at the clubhouse, and members of the Rowing Committee must be informed immediately after such event.

Rowing members are fully responsible for any equipment failure, accident or incident which may have incurred due to negligence and non-observance of the club’s and section’s safety rules. The club’s and section’s insurance may not cover equipment loss and accidents/incidents in case of negligence.

In case of violation of club rules, the club’s General Committee may consider the member’s membership termination according to the club’s Articles of Association (Article 7 / Suspension & Expulsion of Members).

6. Weather warnings

Be aware at all times of the prevailing weather conditions. Local conditions in DB may vary from the general forecast – make sure you check the situation carefully. Use common sense and do not put yourself, or others at risk.

  • Outings are not allowed while Typhoon Signal No 3 or higher is hoisted because Hull and Third Party Liability Insurance does not provide cover if boats remain on the water during Typhoon Signal No 3 or higher.
  • Members MUST NOT engage in water sports during thunderstorms.
    a. If thunderstorm signal is hoisted, but is affecting another area of HK, rowers can go ahead with the planned outing but must stay within the bay.
    b. If during an outing rowing crews are cought by a thunderstorms, rowers should seek shelter at the closest beach.
  • In case of fog Rowers MUST NOT cross Ferry Lines. They must keep within sight of the coast line. If the visibility is less then 50mt (i.e. minimum distance from coast line and rocks) the outing should be cancelled or aborted. In foggy weather rowers should make themselves heard.
7. Amendments of rules & guidelines