STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club has commissioned a cohort of five new launch drivers to their safety rota after many months of delay due to inclement weather conditions.
All launch drivers at the club are RYA (Royal Yachting Association) qualified and have extensive familiarisation on the Boat Club’s three safety launches.
New drivers have passed the RYA’s Inland Waterways Helmsman course at Bisham Abbey which includes safety, helmsmanship, collision avoidance, engine checks, mooring, man overboard and rescue.
This enables the drivers to helm a vessel safely on the river.
Stratford Boat Club’s water safety advisor, Ian Wilcock, said: “Stratford Boat Club takes water safety and the safety of its members and all river users very seriously.
“The club’s launches are used daily for assisting with training upstream and safety on the Avon and having a pool of trained and qualified drivers is essential to maintain these rigorous standards.
“As well as weekend safety cover, the launches are out during the week with school outreach and essential cover for the club’s ever expanding adaptive and weekday rowers’ squads as well as the club’s two regattas and other events on the Avon.”
Stratford Boat Club president, Paul Stanton, added: “Putting our launch drivers through the RYA’s Inland Waterways Helmsman course is a considerable undertaking not only for the club but also for the volunteers who give freely of their time gaining experience, going on the course and covering the launch safety rota slots.
“As the winter weather hopefully begins to ease, their input is especially needed and essential as summer rowing activity increases: we cannot thank them enough for their volunteering and time given.”