cold water & severe weather policy

Effective February 22, 2021

ARC recommends that members adhere to cold water guidelines established by the World Rowing Federation’s (FISA) in order to prevent health hazards such as hypothermia and potentially death. Starting this year, members must sign a Cold Water Release Form (available in Word and PDF at bottom of page) as part of registration.

Cold Conditions

ARC is adopting FISA and USRowing's guidance for cold weather conditions.

  • The sum of the air temperature and water temperature is below 90 °F; OR
  • The water temperature ALONE is below 50 °F

Recommendations

When water and weather conditions are at or colder than described above, ARC strongly recommends that:

  • Members do NOT row.

If rowing is a "must," then all members should:

  • Keep a mobile phone in their boat and in a water-tight pouch.
  • Adhere to a 4-Oar Rule such that the smallest boat taken out is a 2x, which has 4 oars on the water, making it more stable. NOTE: Two 1xs rowing together do NOT meet the 4-Oar Rule.

COLD WATER & SEVERE WEATHER POLICY

  • Anytime the WATER TEMPERATURE alone is 45°F or below, rowing in club 1xs is not allowed.
  • Any member who does not sign and agree to the Cold Water and Severe Weather Release Form may not use club 1xs during cold weather conditions as defined above.

Current River Conditions at Roswell Site


Last Sampled
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Flow Rate
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Depth
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Water Temp.
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Air Temp.*
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Combined Temp.*
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Values with red background and "✖" indicate an unsafe condition. Do not row.

Values with yellow background and "⚠" indicate a condition that may be worsening. Proceed with caution.

Values with green background and "✔" indicate condition is safe. Enjoy your row!

 

Water depth at Roswell is level with the dock ramp at 7.0 ft.

 

* If the water conditions do not load from Morgan Falls Dam, go to the "Forecasting" tab to see up-to-date charts and the tables of guidelines. 

If Morgan Falls Dam weather station is unavailable, click here for air temperature at Peachtree-Dekalb Airport from the National Weather Service & NOAA.


Water Safety guidelines:

Maximum Flow Rate (cfs) for Checkout Level and Shell Size

Shell Level 1² Level 2² Level 3²
Singles 3,000 6,000 8,000
Doubles³ 3,000 6,000 8,000
Quads³ 5,000⁴ 6,000 8,000
Fours 5,000⁴ 8,000 10,000
Eights 5,000⁴ 8,000 10,000

¹For Coached Programs, these criteria serve as guidelines and coaches retain full discretion to determine safe rowing conditions for their programs, taking into account crew experience and fitness, weather and water conditions, and shell size.
²Indicated level means that AT LEAST HALF of the rowers in a shell meet the Safety & Skills Level requirement.
³In doubles and quads the rower with the highest Safety & Skills Checkout Level MUST bow.
⁴Allowed ONLY under coached supervision (there are no Level 1 Quads, Fours, or Eights in the ARC fleet).


DANGER!!
DO NOT LAUNCH DURING A THUNDERSTORM

If you hear thunder, that’s a sign that a thunderstorm is near…
Don't go out! Check the local weather on the computer station at the boathouse --the radar will show you what’s coming.

DO NOT LAUNCH WITHIN 30 MINUTES
after hearing the last thunderclap of a thunderstorm.

Check the conditions of the water. The river is known to carry a great deal of debris and the current can be strong. This is especially true after it has rained and the river is high. Many shells have been damaged due to floating logs or logs that have lodged on the river bottom after a storm, so please exercise caution after a rain.

Conditions on the river can change very quickly. Watch for any change in the weather conditions. If in any doubt, do not launch. If you are already on the water, use any means to protect yourself from adverse weather conditions. DO NOT GO ON THE WATER IF CONDITIONS DO NOT PERMIT A SAFE ROW!

Fog Do not row if you cannot see across the river at water level.

Wind Exercise extreme caution during windy conditions. Do not launch if white caps form.


ARC SAFETY BULLETIN: HYPOTHERMIA
Borrowed, in part, from FISA’s Minimum Guidelines for the Safe Practice of Rowing and the ARA Water Safety Code.

Hypothermia occurs when the whole of the body has been chilled to a much lower than normal body temperature, i.e., below 95 degrees F. The following are the most usual symptoms and signs, but not all may be present:

  • Unexpected and unreasonable behavior possibly accompanied by complaints of coldness and tiredness.
  • Physical and mental lethargy with failure to understand a question or orders.
  • Slurring of speech
  • Violent outburst of unexpected energy and violent language, becoming uncooperative.
  • Failure of, or abnormality in, vision.
  • Twitching.
  • Lack of control of limbs, unsteadiness and complaining of numbness and cramp.
  • General shock with pallor and blueness of lips and nails.
  • Slow weak pulse, wheezing and coughing.

Avoidance must be the first consideration at all times. Dress to beat the cold - layers of clothing are more effective than one warm garment. The outer layer should be wind and waterproof. Look out for the extremities. The head and neck are major sources of heat loss. To reduce this loss, wear some sort of head gear.

Be alert to the warning signs of cold both in yourself and others. Coaches of veterans, lightweights, beginners and young children must be particularly aware of the risks to them of exposure to the cold. Exposed arms, legs and head heighten the risk.


Sudden immersion in cold water can have a shock effect which can disrupt normal breathing, reducing even a proficient swimmer to incompetence. Confusion and an inability to respond to simple instructions will become evident.

If a person has fallen into cold water their body will lose heat rapidly. To reduce heat loss, keep clothes on, while still in the water, except for heavy coats or boots which may drag the person down. When hypothermia is suspected, the aims must be to prevent the victim from losing more body heat and to rewarm the victim.

  • Do not take or give alcohol in cold conditions. Alcohol accelerates heat loss as well as impairing judgement.
  • Send for help. Hypothermia is a medical emergency whether the patient is conscious or unconscious.
  • If conscious, the victim should be rewarmed under careful observation.
  • If unconscious, the victim must be taken to medical aid as soon as possible.

A very dangerous situation is still present when a person who has been in the water for some time, is taken out. Further heat loss must be prevented. The victim must be protected against wind and rain as much as possible.

  • Rewarming can be carried out by:
  • Removing wet clothing (if applicable)
  • Wrapping the victim in a thermal/exposure blanket.
  • Others placing their warm bodies against the victim.

Giving warm drinks (if conscious), but not alcohol.