Warning – Dove Pier at Hammersmith
Grave concerns have been expressed by the residents of Dove Pier who have been involved in rescuing rowers in at least three potentially catastrophic incidents this year. None of these have led to serious injury or worse, largely thanks to the vigilance of residents but all rowers using this stretch of the river must be made aware of this serious hazard.
Clubs must ensure that all their rowers are aware of the risks of rowing on the Thames and that the conditions their crews boat in are suitable for their level of experience and competence. This applies to coxwsains, steersmen, scullers and coaches.
When rowing with the flood tide it is extremely important to make sure you are in the correct place in the navigation channel. If you are too far to starboard when going through Hammersmith Bridge there is a high risk that your boat will be swept onto and under the barges moored at Dove Pier.
Tony Reynolds, Thames Regional Water Safety Adviser, has advised that an updated version of the PLA guide "Rowing on the Tideway" will soon be available for all clubs. This document shows where rowers should be on the Tideway. The Thames Regional Rowing Council has also produced a pocket guide on the "Basic Principles of Tideway Navigation" which can be downloaded from the link below.
Following an incident earlier this year the PLA will also be sending out to all clubs a poster similar to the draft attached below.
Links to all documents related to rowing on the tideway can be found at on the Thames Regional Rowing Council website.