River Dee Courtesy Code
In this courtesy code, Vessel includes every description of water craft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.
1.1 All vessels shall take action to avoid conflict or collisions and if there is the risk of a collision that they move to the right of the river or stop.
1.2 All river users should be safety conscious and take special care to ensure that collisions are avoided. All vessels to maintain a look out and take action to avoid a collision. If stationary, vessels must continue to keep a look out so that they can alert or take avoiding action from an approaching vessel.
1.3 Vessels under power should give way to non powered vessels. Due regard should be had for the difficulties of navigation experienced by larger vessels and other users should also consider giving way to maintain safety.
1.4 When overtaking slower vessels, pass in a safe and appropriate manner if the river ahead is clear to do so. If the river ahead is not clear, slow down or stop until it is safe to progress. Take extreme care when overtaking large tour vessels. They can’t always see smaller vessels manoeuvring close by.
1.5 When turning, vessels must ensure they are upstream of a bend with a clear sight of down stream traffic and sufficient space for upstream traffic to take action. Key locations are: Earls Eye, Red House bend, Heronbridge and Ecclestone. At Crook of Dee, check the upstream side is clear prior to turning. Progressing to the upstream side of this bend is not required.
2. Powered vessels
2.1 Powered vessels (not assisting in coaching) should keep to the right hand side of the river at all times.
2.2 Powered vessels (not assisting in coaching) to adhere to the river bye-laws and speed limit.
2.3 Powered vessels (not assisting in coaching) to ensure that their wash is kept to an absolute minimum when passing close to other craft.
2.4 When passing vessels in the same direction of travel, if it is clear and safe to do so, pass on the outside of the river. Then return to a safe navigation position maintaining an even and progressive speed to clear the vessel.
3. Powered coaching vessels (permission to exceed speed limit granted)
3.1 Coaching vessels are only granted permission to exceed the speed limit while they are close to the rowing boat being coached.
3.2 When passing un-powered vessels in opposite directions of travel remain on the right of the river and reduce the size of wash appropriately. (this could include to plane at speed)
3.3 Amplified loud hailers are not used between the Groves and Red House unless in the event of an emergency or to avoid a collision. Where permitted amplified loud hailers should only be used between the hours of 9am and 8pm on any day and not used in areas that would cause disturbance to residences along the river.
4. Non-powered vessels, including canoes, rowing boats and sailing boats
4.1 All non powered vessels should give way to all other non powered vessels. If in the likely hood of a collision both parties should take appropriate avoiding action or both stop.
4.2 Prior to turning a vessel round, crossing the river or starting in motion, vessels must check that the river is clear in close proximity and that other vessels are at a safe distance.
4.3 Unless part of an agreed event, bends should be negotiated at a reduced speed to allow safe passage. This could include stopping if to avoid a collision.
4.4 At the Heronbridge start line (pumping station), keep waiting to a minimum to maintain a clear bend. Avoid stopping and turning in the area of the pumping station.
4.5 When heading out on a training activity make note of other users and volume of vessels on the water. If the river is likely to be busy look to adjust speeds or the types of training session to reduce risks or the potential for a collision. Key locations are, the Mile Straight (Heron Bridge Straight), Sandy Lane, Earls Eye, The Groves.
4.6 During works on the river, additional guidance may be produced. In areas of works avoid stopping or turning to maintain a safe working area.
4.7 Prior to events, additional information may be produced. During events take appropriate action and care to allow the event to continue unheeded. If this requires actions contrary to the code of conduct, proceed with extreme care to avoid a collision.
5.1 Heading upstream, canoes keep close to the bank. This should aim to be the right bank but it is accepted practise that canoes may travel on the left in some locations. To avoid a collision a canoe should either move right or stop in a safe location. Locations to expect canoes on the left bank are: Groves, Heronbridge, Road Bridge, Ecclestone bend and between the Crook of Dee and Blue Bridge.
5.2 Heading down stream, canoes should keep to the right hand side of the river at all times.
6. Rowing boats
6.1 Rowing boats should keep to the right hand side of the river.
6.2 At the Groves, turning and approach to landing stages should follow the one way system. Head down stream on the right side of the river, turn at the suspension bridge, head up stream on the right side of the river. When it is safe to do so cross to the exit pontoons.
6.3 Rowing boats should be launched pointing upstream and move to the right side of the river when it is safe to do so. If launching down stream follow the one way system via the suspension bridge.
6.4 When the river is busy, crews should avoid side by side rowing.
6.5 Coxes shall have appropriate experience to control the boat and crew they are responsible for, related to the conditions.
6.6 Rowing boats to proceed with caution between the Red House and Sandy Lane car park when sailing is in progress and at Earls Eye when canoeing is taking place.
6.7 All hard rowing to stop at the kissing gate / Dee Lane
7. Sailing boats
7.1 Sailing boats to be aware of the direction and path of other users and take action to avoid collisions.
8. Training in the dark
8.1 A solid white light on the bow and a solid red light on the stern should be on display during the hours of darkness. No flashing lights. Use of lights on sides of boats or arms should be avoided if possible.