Safety Manuals / Briefings Boat Rental Thames

Call 01628 566 290 
Whatsapp: 07719531801
email: info@boatrentalthames.com

 

Canadian Canoes

Safety Manual Canadian Canoes– 2022 – To be carried out prior to each new Hire of Canoes. A copy of the Hirer Terms and Conditions will also be supplied.

 

Covid-19

Please follow the Government Guidelines.
 

Buoyancy Aids/Life Jackets

All participants will be sized and visually check by staff but fit their own and should all be able to swim at least 10 metres (unless a young child who must wear a Life Jacket of 100N)

Hirers will fit their own and staff will do a visual check for correct sizing and fitting.

Buoyancy Aids 50N/ life jackets to be worn at all times when on or handling canoes near the water.

Children or very small adults must wear a crotch strap at all times if they have the wrong body shape to stop a buoyancy aid from slipping off.

 

Entering and Exiting A Canoe

Canoes are by nature unstable

When getting in and out of a canoe place your weight/ foot in the middle of the boat and gently step in (never jump in and out of canoes)

Never stand up in a canoe unless getting in or out and keep your weight low in the boat

Always have at least one other able person holding tightly on to the boat or the bank

Always get in and out from a stable platform

Never enter a canoe near a weir or very fast flowing part of a river

Do not push off into a river until two paddlers are ready to paddle

 

Children

Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult over 25 yrs in a canoe.

Youngest allowed person in our canoes is 4 years – or totally at our discretion.

All children up to 8 yrs must be accompanied by 2 adults 25 yrs or over.

Children 9-18 yrs to be accompanied by one adult 25 yrs or over.

A minimum of 2 people must paddle a Canadian canoe.

Never tie a child or anyone to a boat

 

River Thames Rules

Always keep to the RIGHT hand side of the river when paddling along

Slower craft (such as canoes) should keep closer to the bank – faster craft should over-take on your left down the main channel of the river

Always give way to sailing vessels
Canoes have right of way over motor craft

Keep checking for boats behind you
Rowing boats can often not see behind them and can approach quickly, so best to keep out of their way

Always give all craft plenty of room as boats tend not to stop quickly and can be affected by stream and wind

 

Weirs

All Weirs are marked Dangerous and a safe distance should be kept both at the top and bottom.

Never go close to any weir or sluice as there are unseen currents at work

Never try to unload or load near to a weir unless in an emergency

 

Locks

Lock keepers should be on Duty

Our canoes are all licensed to use the locks and we suggest you go through them.

When approaching a lock, always look out for the directions given by the lock keeper or assistant with hand signals.

Do not push in front of other traffic in locks, unless asked to by a lock keeper or boat owner

When in the lock, stay SEATED in your boat and either hold on to the sides of larger boats if directed to do so, or the chains in the lock – but always ask for advice from the lock keeper if unsure.
We recommend that you are the last craft in to a lock. If you hold on to a bigger vessel in a lock, let the skipper know.

NEVER tie your canoe on inside a lock

 

Portage (Carry Area to avoid going through Locks)

Every lock has a portage route

These routes should be signed clearly (They are NEVER at the top of a weir!) and normally very close to the entrance of the lock.

If you are unable to follow the instructions on how to use a lock we recommend that you portage.
There are usually other boat owners on the river, and we suggest you ask them to operate the lock for you so you stay in and with your canoe.

 

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, we recommend that you call the emergency services on 112 (or 999).

If possible get to the nearest bank or place where emergency services can reach you.

 

Man Overboard

Our boats are relatively stable, but in the unlikely event of a man overboard situation, first make sure that the remaining passengers stay in the canoe and paddle – if safe to the person in the water.
Do not try to haul the person into the boat over the side or climb in from deep water as you will all likely capsize

Direct the person to hold the side of the canoe and paddle the person to the bank to safety and they can climb out there.

 

Capsize

In the event of a capsize (everyone falling in) try to keep hold of your paddle. Our canoes will float even when swamped and so will you (with your buoyancy aid on)

Keep hold of the canoe and swim with it to the nearest safe bank where you can climb out.

Only try to turn the boat over and carry on if you are able to in a safe manner.
If conditions are cold and you do not have spare dry clothes, we suggest that you stop and call for help, as hypothermia can be a risk.  Likewise if a large amount of water is swallowed we recommend you seek medical help

Common sense must prevail and your safety is paramount, so if in a dangerous situation, do not deal with the canoe and swim to safety first and then seek help.

 

Alcohol

Alcohol and boats especially canoeing do not mix well – so please do not drink excessively whilst on the river.
If we think that anyone in the party is over a safe limit, we reserve the right to deny access and no refund will be given – 100% our discretion.

 

Swimming

If you are going to swim in the river then always find a calm area with easy access to get in and out of the river at a bank and not on a blind bend or where there is a fast flow.

Do not use our canoes as toys for jumping in and out of.

Never jump blind in to a river – there are often unseen hazards just under the surface

Never swim by a weir or lock

Do not swim in front of boats or when river traffic is busy or in darkness


Fishing and Fishermen

To fish in the River Thames, a Permit is required.

Please respect fishermen along the banks and give them distance whilst remaining quiet when you see them

 

Weil’s Disease (Very Rare)

Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters

If submerged, suggest a shower after at home and wash hands.

Wash or wipe hands with antibacterial solution before eating or drinking.
If you suffer flu like symptoms after your trip and need to go to a doctor mention that you have been on the river.

 

Lightening

In the event of lightening nearby, hirers should exit the water and find a safe place to shelter away from the river and wait half an hour after the last nearby flash before re-entering.

 

Injury

Customers should advise a member of staff if they suffer any injury whilst on site or as a direct result of using our kit.

 

End of Hire
You should be met by a member of our staff and must exit on to the designated space.

 

Should a member of staff not be there for some reason, leave boats upside down and exit the site along the same way you came in.

And participants must contact the company either whatsapp on 07719531801, call 01628 566290 or email on info@boatrentalthames.com to advise you are off the water safely.

Sit on Top Kayaks

Safety Manual Kayaks– 2022 – To be carried out prior to each new Hire of Kayaks. A copy of the Hirer Terms and Conditions will also be supplied.

 

Buoyancy Aids/Life Jackets

All participants will be sized  and visually check by staff but fit their own and should all be able to swim at least 10 metres (unless a young child who must wear a Life Jacket of 100N)

Hirers will fit their own and staff will do a visual check for correct sizing and fitting.

Buoyancy Aids 50N/ life jackets to be worn at all times when on or handling canoes near the water.
Children or very small adults must wear a crotch strap at all times if they have the wrong body shape to stop a buoyancy aid from slipping off.

 

Entering and Exiting A Kayak

During self distancing, customers are asked if staff can help with launching – which involves getting lose to boats

Kayaks are by nature unstable

Always keep your centre of gravity low.

Always have your paddle nearby to be able to reach.

From a beach area put the boat in the water and hold the sides and lower your self in

From a hard bank, we suggest sitting on your bum, legs in and lower yourself in.

If possible get someone else to hold the boat when getting in.

Always place your weight/ feet in the middle of the boat and shuffle step in (never jump in and out of kayaks)

Never stand up in a kayak

Always get in and out from a stable platform
Hold the side and shuffle bum out if bank is level or higher.
If a beach – hold sides and awing legs out first.

Never enter a kayak near a weir or very fast flowing part of a river

Do not push off into a river until you have your paddle in your hand and are ready to paddle.

 

Children and Kayaks

Minimum age is 14 yrs in a single kayak and must be accompanied by an adult over 25 yrs in a vessel nearby.

Youngest allowed person in our double kayaks is 6 years – or totally at our discretion.

1 capable adult is needed to paddle a double kayak.

Never tie a child or anyone to a boat

 

River Thames Rules

Always keep to the RIGHT hand side of the river when paddling along

Slower craft (such as canoes) should keep closer to the bank – faster craft should over-take on your left down the main channel of the river

Always give way to sailing vessels
Canoes have right of way over motor craft

Keep checking for boats behind you
Rowing boats can often not see behind them and can approach quickly, so best to keep out of their way

Always give all craft plenty of room as boats tend not to stop quickly and can be affected by stream and wind

 

Weirs

All Weirs are marked Dangerous and a safe distance should be kept both at the top and bottom.

Never go close to any weir or sluice as there are unseen currents at work

Never try to unload or load near to a weir unless in an emergency

 

Locks

Our recommendation is to Portage, however kayakers can use locks if they are confident in their boat and there is someone to operate the lock for them.

Our kakas are all licensed to use the locks

When approaching a lock, always look out for the directions given by the lock keeper or assistant with hand signals.

Do not push in front of other traffic in locks, unless asked to by a lock keeper or boat owner

When in the lock, stay SEATED and still in your boat – paddle to the side and do not lean out of the boat to grab a chain and either hold on to the sides of larger boats if directed to do so, or the chains in the lock – but always ask for advice from the lock keeper if unsure.

Position yourself in the rear or centre of a lock.

We recommend that you are the last craft into a lock. If you hold on to a bigger vessel in a lock, let the skipper know.

Never tie your kayak on in a lock

 

Portage (Carry Area to avoid going through Locks)

Every lock has a portage route

These routes should be signed clearly (They are NEVER at the top of a weir!) and normally very close to the entrance of the lock.

If you are unable to follow the instructions on how to use a lock we recommend that you portage.
There are usually other boat owners on the river, and we suggest you ask them to operate the lock for you so you stay in and with your canoe.

 

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, we recommend that you call the emergency services on 112 (or 999).

If possible get to the nearest bank or place where emergency services can reach you.

 

Man Overboard

Our boats are relatively stable, but in the unlikely event of a man overboard situation, first make sure that the remaining passenger id a double stay on the canoe and paddle – if safe to the person in the water.
Do not try to haul the person into the boat over the side or climb in from deep water as you will all likely capsize

Direct the person to hold the side of the canoe and paddle the person to the bank to safety and they can climb out there.

 

Capsize

In the event of a capsize (the whole boat tips over) try to keep hold of your paddle. Our kayaks will float even when swamped and so will you (with your buoyancy aid on)

Keep hold of the kayak and swim with it to the nearest safe bank where you can climb out.

Only try to turn the boat over and carry on if you are able to in a safe manner.
If conditions are cold and you do not have spare dry clothes, we suggest that you stop and call for help, as hypothermia can be a risk. Likewise if a large amount of water is swallowed we recommend you seek medical help.

Common sense must prevail and your safety is paramount, so if in a dangerous situation, do not deal with the canoe and swim to safety first and then seek help.

Alcohol

Alcohol and boats especially canoeing do not mix well – so please do not drink excessively whilst on the river.
If we think that anyone in the party is over a safe limit, we reserve the right to deny access and no refund will be given – 100% our discretion.

 

Swimming

If you are going to swim in the river then always find a calm area with easy access to get in and out of the river at a bank and not on a blind bend or where there is a fast flow.

Do not use our canoes as toys for jumping in and out of.

Never jump blind in to a river – there are often unseen hazards just under the surface

Never swim by a weir or lock

Do not swim in front of boats or when river traffic is busy or in darkness

 

Fishing and Fishermen

To fish in the River Thames, a Permit is required.

Please respect fishermen along the banks and give them distance whilst remaining quiet when you see them

 

Weils Disease (Very Rare)

Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters

If submerged, suggest a shower after at home and wash hands.

Wash or wipe hands with antibacterial solution before eating or drinking.
If you suffer flu like symptoms after your trip and need to go to a doctor mention that you have been on the river.

 

Lightening

In the event of lightening nearby, hirers should exit the water and find a safe place to shelter away from the river and wait half an hour after the last nearby flash before re-entering.

 

Injury

Customers should advise a member of staff if they suffer any injury whilst on site or as a direct result of using our kit.

 

End of Hire
You should be met by a member of our staff.

Should a member of staff not be there for some reason, leave boats upside down and exit the site along the same way you came in.

And participants must contact the company either whatsapp on 07719531801, call 01628 566029 or email on info@boatrenetalthames.com to advise you are off the water safely.

 

 

 

SUP Hire

Safety Manual SUPs– 2022 –A copy of the Hirer Terms and Conditions is also be supplied in the digital form to follow.

 

Buoyancy Aids/Life Jackets

All participants will be sized  and visually check by staff but fit their own and should all be able to swim at least 10 metres (unless a young child who must wear a Life Jacket of 100N)

Hirers will fit their own and staff will do a visual check for correct sizing and fitting.

Buoyancy Aids 50N/ life jackets to be worn at all times when on or handling our craft near the water.

 

Wear the Leash

We supply a leash with a quick release buckle waist strap which should be worn whilst on the board and whilst getting on and off which avoids separation from the board if you fall in – it should be worn at all times when using our SUPs

 

Safe Use of a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)

SUPs are by nature unstable

When getting on or off a SUP start on your knees until you are in deep water and away from pontoons, boats, the bank or any hard object (never jump on or off SUPs)

Never get on a SUP near a weir or very fast flowing part of a river

Do not push off into a river until you are ready to paddle and the passage is clear

Do not stand up or jump off near or in shallow water, as injuries can happen easily.

We recommend that some form of water shoe is worn when using our SUPs

We suggest you take a phone with you – we can supply dry bags if required at an extra charge.

 

Children

The youngest age allowed to hire a SUP from our base is 12 Years.

Anyone using our boards under 25years  must be accompanied by an adult 25 yrs+ who is also on the water – therefore being able to assist if required.

 

Correct Dress

It is highly likely that you will fall in the water using a SUP. You must be suitably dressed and prepared. Either swimming clothes, wetsuits or quick drying clothes.

 

River Thames Rules

Always keep to the RIGHT hand side of the river when paddling along

Slower craft (such as SUPs) should keep closer to the bank, but in deep water – faster craft should over-take on your left down the main channel of the river

Always give way to sailing vessels

Keep checking for boats behind you
Rowing boats can often not see behind them and can approach quickly, so best to keep out of their way

Always give all craft plenty of room as boats tend not to stop quickly and can be affected by stream and wind

 

Weirs

All Weirs are marked Dangerous and a safe distance should be kept both at the top and bottom.

Never go close to any weir or sluice as there are unseen currents at work

Never try to unload or load near to a weir unless in an absolute emergency

 

Locks

NEVER go though locks on SUPs.
Look for the Portage Signs (Carry Area to avoid going through Locks)

Every lock has a portage route

These routes should be signed clearly (They are NEVER at the top of a weir!) and normally very close to the entrance of the lock.

 

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, we recommend that you call the emergency services on 112 (or 999).

If possible get to the nearest bank or place where emergency services can reach you.

 

Falling In

Our SUPs are relatively stable, but it is likely that you will fall in.

It is normally possible to climb back on the board from deep water, but if not possible, use the SUP as a float and swim to the nearest safe bank and climb back on.

Paddlers can always pick the board up and carry along a foot path, or call us for assistance, should wind conditions become too difficult.

 

Alcohol

Alcohol and boats do not mix well – so please do not drink excessively whilst on the river.
If we think that anyone in the party is over a safe limit, we reserve the right to deny access and no refund will be given – 100% our discretion.

 

Swimming

If you are going to swim in the river then always find a calm area with easy access to get in and out of the river at a bank and not on a blind bend or where there is a fast flow.

Never jump blind in to a river – there are often unseen hazards just under the surface

Never swim by a weir or lock

Do not swim in front of boats or when river traffic is busy or in darkness

 

Fishing and Fishermen

Please respect fishermen along the banks and give them distance whilst remaining quiet when you see them

 

Weil’s Disease (Very Rare)

Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters

If submerged, suggest a shower after at home and wash hands.

Wash or wipe hands with antibacterial solution before eating or drinking.
If you suffer flu like symptoms after your trip and need to go to a doctor mention that you have been on the river.

 

Lightening

In the event of lightening nearby, hirers should exit the water and find a safe place to shelter away from the river and wait half an hour after the last nearby flash before re-entering.

 

Injury

Customers should advise a member of staff if they suffer any injury whilst on site or as a direct result of using our kit.

 

End of Hire
You should be met by a member of our staff.

 

Should a member of staff not be there for some reason, leave boats upside down and exit the site along the same way you came in.

And participants must contact the company either whatsapp on 07719531801, call 01628 566290 or email on info@boatrenetalthames.com to advise you are off the water safely.

Water Bike Hire

Water Bike Hire

Safety Manual Water Bikes– 2022 –A copy of the Hirer Terms and Conditions is also be supplied in the digital form to follow.

Buoyancy Aids/Life Jackets

All participants will be sized and visually check by staff but fit their own and should all be able to swim at least 10 metres

Hirers will fit their own and staff will do a visual check for correct sizing and fitting.

Buoyancy Aids 50N/ life jackets to be worn at all times when on or handling our craft near the water.

Safe Use of a Water Bike

When getting on or off a water bike, the craft can move away from the bank, it is best that someone holds the bike when doing so

Do NOT beach your bike. Leave in deep water and use the rope supplied to tie up to a soft, smooth bank.
Stay out of back waters and areas with weeds.

Make sure that the bike is in deep enough water that it won’t get grounded and avoid any sharp objects  and weeds in the water, or on the bank. Never jump on or off, step and always have a hand on part of the bike.

Never get on a Water Bike near a weir or very fast flowing part of a river

Do not push off into a river until you are ready to peddle and the passage is clear

Shoes are mandatory.

NEVER load more than one person on a bike.

We suggest you take a phone with you – we can supply a dry bag if required.

Breakdown

If the bike breaks down, use the paddle and get to the nearest safe bank. Do not try to fix the bile and phone us and await instructions.

NEVER accept a tow from another motorised vessel.

Children

The youngest age allowed to hire a SUP from our base is 14 Years.

Anyone using our boards under 25 years  must be accompanied by an adult 25 yrs+ who is also on the water – therefore being able to assist if required.

River Thames Rules

Always keep to the RIGHT hand side of the river when travelling

Slower craft (such as Water Bikes) should keep closer to the bank, but in deep water – faster craft should over-take on your left down the main channel of the river

Keep checking for boats behind you

Rowing boats can often not see behind them and can approach quickly, so best to keep out of their way

Always give all craft plenty of room as boats tend not to stop quickly and can be affected by stream and wind

Weirs

All Weirs are marked Dangerous and a safe distance should be kept both at the top and bottom.

Never go close to any weir or sluice as there are unseen currents at work

Never try to unload or load near to a weir unless in an absolute emergency

Locks

We recommend using the locks and stay sitting on your bike.

Use the middle or back of a lock – hold the chains.

Can use the rope, but NEVER tie on – loop once around a bollard and back to the rider.

In the event that a lock is closed, look for the Portage Signs (Carry Area to avoid going through Locks) and always carry the bikes with two people at each end.

Every lock has a portage route which is next to the lock, unless explained.

These routes should be signed clearly (They are NEVER at the top of a weir!) and normally very close to the entrance of the lock.

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, we recommend that you call the emergency services on 112 (or 999).

If possible get to the nearest bank or place where emergency services can reach you.

Capsize

Our water bikes are stable.

If a bike does capsize, we recommend that you swim it to the nearest safe bank and turn it over from a standing position.

Falling In

If the rider does fall in, it is preferable that you swim it to the nearest safe bank.

If the user is fit and strong, it might be possible to climb back on, but abandon this after 2 failed attempts and swim it in to shallow water or a place where you can easily get out, before getting back on the bike.

Alcohol

Alcohol and boats do not mix well – so please do not drink excessively whilst on the river.

If we think that anyone in the party is over a safe limit, we reserve the right to deny access and no refund will be given – 100% our discretion.

Swimming

If you are going to swim in the river then always find a calm area with easy access to get in and out of the river at a bank and not on a blind bend or where there is a fast flow.

Never jump blind in to a river – there are often unseen hazards just under the surface

Never swim by a weir or lock

Do not swim in front of boats or when river traffic is busy or in darkness

Fishing and Fishermen

Please respect fishermen along the banks and give them distance whilst remaining quiet when you see them

Weil’s Disease (Very Rare)

Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters

If submerged, suggest a shower after at home and wash hands.

Wash or wipe hands with antibacterial solution before eating or drinking.
If you suffer flu like symptoms after your trip and need to go to a doctor mention that you have been on the river.

Lightening

In the event of lightening nearby, hirers should exit the water and find a safe place to shelter away from the river and wait half an hour after the last nearby flash before re-entering.

Injury/Damaged/Faulty Kit

Customers should advise a member of staff if they suffer any injury whilst on site or as a direct result of using our kit, any accidents or near misses on the water or if any kit is damaged or faulty.

End of Hire
You should be met by a member of our staff.

Should a member of staff not be there for some reason, tie the boat on to our pontoon, DO NOT take out of the water and exit the site along the same way you came in.

And participants must then contact the company either whatsapp on 07719531801, call 01628  566290 or email on info@boatrenetalthames.com to advise you are off the water safely.

Mega SUP Hire

Safety Manual Water Bikes– 2022 –A copy of the Hirer Terms and Conditions is also be supplied in the digital form to follow.

There must be at least 2 capable adults on the board to paddle.

Max 6 people.

 

Buoyancy Aids/Life Jackets

All participants will be sized and visually check by staff but fit their own and should all be able to swim at least 10 metres (unless a young child who must wear a Life Jacket of 100N)

Hirers will fit their own and staff will do a visual check for correct sizing and fitting.

Buoyancy Aids 50N/ life jackets to be worn at all times when on or handling our craft near the water.

 

Safe Use of a Mega SUP

When getting on or off the SUP, crawl on to the board and start on your knees until you are in deep water and away from pontoons, boats, the bank or any hard object.

Never tie someone to the SUP.

Load and unload one person at a time.

Drop back to knees when coming in to moor or in to a beach.

Never get on a SUP near a weir or very fast flowing part of a river

Do not leave bank until you are ready to paddle and the passage is clear

Do not stand up or jump off near or in shallow water, as injuries can happen easily and do not push each other off or attempt to swim underneath.

We recommend that some form of water shoe is worn when using our SUPs

Take a phone with you.

Correct Dress

You must be suitably dressed and prepared. Either swimming clothes, wetsuits or quick drying clothes.

 

River Thames Rules

Always keep to the RIGHT hand side of the river when paddling along

Slower craft (such as SUPs) should keep closer to the bank, but in deep water – faster craft should over-take on your left down the main channel of the river

Always give way to sailing vessels

Keep checking for boats behind you
Rowing boats can often not see behind them and can approach quickly, so best to keep out of their way

Always give all craft plenty of room as boats tend not to stop quickly and can be affected by stream and wind

 

Weirs

All Weirs are marked Dangerous and a safe distance should be kept both at the top and bottom.

Never go close to any weir or sluice as there are unseen currents at work

Never try to unload or load near to a weir unless in an absolute emergency

 

Locks

Unload SUP before the lock and leave at least 1 adult to paddle through on knees.

Paddle in after any motor boats and position at middle or back of lock.

Crew to get back on to SUP outside the lock when carrying on trip.

Stay sitting/kneeling whilst in lock and hold the chains – do not tie up.

Alternatively, if the lock is broken, carefully pull the board out and carry along portage and place back in water at the other side of the lock

 

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, we recommend that you call the emergency services on 112 (or 999).

If possible get to the nearest bank or place where emergency services can reach you.

 

Falling In

Our SUPs are relatively stable, but it is likely that you will fall in.

It is normally possible to climb back on the board from deep water, but if not possible, use the SUP as a float and swim to the nearest safe bank and climb back on.

 

Alcohol

Alcohol and boats do not mix well – so please do not drink excessively whilst on the river.
If we think that anyone in the party is over a safe limit, we reserve the right to deny access and no refund will be given – 100% our discretion.

 

Swimming

If you are going to swim in the river then always find a calm area with easy access to get in and out of the river at a bank and not on a blind bend or where there is a fast flow.

Never jump blind in to a river – there are often unseen hazards just under the surface

Never swim by a weir or lock

Do not swim in front of boats or when river traffic is busy or in darkness

 

Fishing and Fishermen

Please respect fishermen along the banks and give them distance whilst remaining quiet when you see them

 

Weil’s Disease (Very Rare)

Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters

If submerged, suggest a shower after at home and wash hands.

Wash or wipe hands with antibacterial solution before eating or drinking.
If you suffer flu like symptoms after your trip and need to go to a doctor mention that you have been on the river.

 

Lightening

In the event of lightening nearby, hirers should exit the water and find a safe place to shelter away from the river and wait half an hour after the last nearby flash before re-entering.

 

Injury

Customers should advise a member of staff if they suffer any injury whilst on site or as a direct result of using our kit.

 

End of Hire
You should be met by a member of our staff.

 

Should a member of staff not be there for some reason, leave SUP on the water and tie on to pontoon and leave life jackets/paddles up on grass.

And participants must contact the company either whatsapp on 07719531801, call 01628 566290 or email on info@boatrenetalthames.com to advise you are off the water safely.

Motor Boat Safety

Covid-19

Staff should remain at least 2 metres from hirers at all times where practical or wear a mask.

Staff are cleaning boats and kit prior to hires. 

Buoyancy Aids/Life Jackets

All participants will be provided with: auto inflating life jackets adults and buoyancy aids/Lifejackets for children and should be able to swim at least 10 metres.

Hirers will fit their own and staff will do a visual check for correct sizing and fitting.

These are to be worn at all times on our pontoons and recommended when on our boats.

Children must wear buoyancy aids or life jackets at all times on our boats and they and very small adults must wear the crotch strap if they have the wrong body shape to stop a buoyancy aid/ Life Jacket from slipping off.

Children

Must not be left on the boat on their own without an adult.

Never tie a child or anyone to a boat

River Thames Rules

Keep wash down – 5mph maximum.

Keep to the RIGHT hand side of the river when cruising and do not drive too close to the bank to avoid beaching or hidden obstacles.

Faster craft can overtake and it is the overtaking boat’s responsibility to stay clear.

Give way to sailing vessels and paddle boats

Keep checking for boats behind you
Rowing boats can often not see behind them and can approach quickly, so keep a sharp look out and shout ‘Ahead rower’ if they approach without seeing you.

Always give all craft plenty of room as boats tend not to stop quickly and can be affected by stream and wind.
The speed limit is 5mph (a swift walking pace) and vessels must not create a large wash.

Weirs

All Weirs are marked Dangerous and a safe distance should be kept both at the top and bottom.

Never go close to any weir or sluice as there are unseen currents at work

Never try to unload or load near to a weir unless in an emergency

Locks

Lock keepers should be on Duty

When approaching and in a lock, keep your speed to a minimum and look out for the directions given by the lock keeper or assistant with hand signals.

Moor up before the lock if you have to wait and check that all boats are out before going in.

Do not push in front of other traffic in locks, unless asked to by a lock keeper or boat owner

When in the lock use the rope at the front and back of the boat to go round the bollards. Check that the ropes are free of knots and are not trapped.
NEVER TIE UP INSIDE A LOCK

Ask for advice from the lock keeper if unsure.

If crew wish to get out on the lock, we suggest they do so before getting in the lock when going upstream and re-join the boat outside the lock when going downstream – avoiding the steps in the lock where possible.

Using the Boats

Do not overload the boats and allow more people to board without our expressed permission.

There is to be a designated skipper at the helm who is an adult 25 years+ and is responsible for their crew and the boat and is fully in charge of the boat.

Agree the active crew before each manoeuvre.

When mooring, competent crew should be identified to manage the bow and stern ropes. The ropes are not to be used to slow the boat down. We will demonstrate rope throwing techniques before boarding.

The boat should be slowed down when approaching a mooring point or a lock and brought to a stop before throwing ropes or stepping off the boat.

Crew should never jump on or off the boat and should step on or off when the boat is stationary and close to the side.

The boat should be secure before loading other passengers and people should be helped on board if required by the crew.

Do not beach the boats as they will get stuck if run aground and cause damage to the motors (unless in an emergency).

All ropes MUST be placed right inside the boat before using the motor.

We will demonstrate the steering, controls of the boat and the equipment onboard when you board.

The skipper will be required to demonstrate that you are competent before leaving for the hire duration.

Skippers should be aware of stream and wind conditions affecting the handling of the boat.

Safety Around the Propeller

It is imperative that if any person or animal is near the propellor that the motor is immediately put in to neutral and the key removed from the mater switch.

Breakdown

In the event of a breakdown, the first priority is to get the boat to a secure mooring.
Contact us on 01491 520002 or Whatsapp on 07537 127 365 and we will try to help you get going again and advise on the next steps.

Emergency

In the event of an emergency, we recommend that you call the emergency services on 112 (or 999), ask the public to raise the alarm and then also contact us.

If possible get to the nearest bank or place where emergency services can reach you.

Man Overboard

In the unlikely event of a man overboard situation, immediately cut the power to the motor and remove the key until they are clear of the boat and propellor, and if in deep water, throw them the life ring.

If someone falls in a lock, they must use the ladders to climb out of the lock.

Do not try to haul the person into the boat over the side or climb in from deep water or attempt to hold them by the side of the boat whilst under power.

Direct the person to a safe bank where they can climb in.

Alcohol

Excessive alcohol / recreational drugs and boats especially do not mix well – so please do not drink excessively whilst on the river.
If we think that anyone in the party is over a safe limit, we reserve the right to deny access and repossess the boat and no refund will be given – 100% our discretion.

Swimming

Do not use our boats for swimming from or climbing in or towing people.

If you are going to swim in the river then always find a place where exit from the water is possible and a calm area with easy access to get in and out of the river at a bank and not on a blind bend or where there is a fast flow.

Never jump blind into a river – there are often unseen hazards just under the surface

Never swim by a weir or lock

Do not swim in front of boats or when river traffic is busy or in poor light

Fishing and Fishermen

Fishing is not permitted from our boats.

Please respect fishermen along the banks and avoid their lines.

Weil’s Disease (Very Rare)

Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof plasters

If submerged, suggest a shower after at home and wash hands.

Wash or wipe hands with antibacterial solution before eating or drinking.
If you suffer flu like symptoms after your trip and need to go to a doctor mention that you have been on the river.

Lightening

In the event of lightening nearby, hirers should exit the water and find a safe place to shelter away from the river and wait half an hour after the last nearby flash before re-entering.

End of Hire
You will be instructed where to moor and should be met by a member of our staff who will check the condition of the boat before exiting the site.

You must inform us immediately if the boat or anyone else’s property has been damaged or if anyone whether on board or not has been injured as direct result of using the boat.

We expect the boat to be cleared of all rubbish at the end of each hire and returned in a respectable condition –There will be a charge if the boat is returned in a filthy condition at our discretion.

 

For any reason you are not met by our staff, please advise that you have finished your hire by contacting the Company either by whatsapp on 07537127365, call 01491 520002 or email on info@boatrentalthames.com to advise you are off the water safely.

 CLICK HERE TO SIGN MOTOR BOAT AGREEMENT

 

 

 

Operating the Locks
The locks should be manned, but if you get to a lock and there is no lock keeper, this is how to use the locks. 

Canoeists and Kayakers can go through the locks, and as explained, our recommendation is to allow other boat users to work the lock for you.

Should you need to operate yourselves, here are the instructions:

How to operate the lock:

PATIENCE IS THE KEY! DO NOT PRESS AND HOLD THE BUTTONS OR YOU WILL TRIP THE POWER!

If the BLUE ‘Power Available’ light is OFF, please follow the instructions on the side of the control pedestal. If the BLUE ‘Power Available’ light is ON, follow the instructions below.

1 To fill or empty the lock, make sure that all gates and sluices are closed and the RED light is ON.

If not, please follow procedures 3 and 4 below before continuing.

IF THE LOCK IS EMPTY and the GREEN light is OFF you must follow this operation before you can open the gates.

Press the ‘OPEN SLUICES’ button Once. The sluices will gradually open automatically and the GREEN light will flash while the lock is Filling or Draining. This will take several minutes.

IF THE LOCK IS FULL and the GREEN light is OFF you must follow this operation before you can open the gates.

Press the ‘OPEN SLUICES’ button Once. The sluices will gradually open automatically and the GREEN light will flash while the lock is Filling or Draining. This will take several minutes.

2 To open the gates, wait until the GREEN light has stopped flashing and is ON.

Press and hold the ‘OPEN GATES’ button.

3 To close the gates, Press and hold the ‘CLOSE GATES’ button.

4 To close the sluices, make sure the gates are properly closed. Press the ‘CLOSE SLUICES’ button

Once. The GREEN light will go out and the sluices will close automatically until the RED light comes ON.

When you leave the lock, please CLOSE the gates behind you and leave the tail sluices OPEN.

 

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