The greater the number of boats and therefore the number of people on the water, the greater the risk of an incident.Increased numbers therefore require additional supervision.
Supervision from within the boat is not totally satisfactory but it may be acceptable in boats where there is some level of experience from other members of the crew.
Experienced crews and scullers working together on the water can be considered to be supervising each other.
Weather conditions should play a major part in considering the supervision ratio, as shown by the need to increase the supervision ratio in the Water Assessment Code. The seasons also play a part; in Winter, the water temperature can be nearly freezing and the supervision ratio should therefore be higher than in Summer.
It is easy to see that by increasing the supervision one reduces the risk.It behoves all of us to recognise these risks and take appropriate action. Anything over tolerable risk should be addressed by either managing the supervision ratio or deploying the safety launch which can have dual function and be used as a coaching launch.
One advantage of having a number of people on the water is the increased number of “eyeballs” that are able to keep watch on what is going on, and act if necessary by helping in a situation or by calling for extra help with the appropriate communication device.
At weekends, for both 1st and 2nd outings (typically beginning at 8.30am and 10.30am), the launch drivers and coaches should satisfy themselves that: