The Four Oar Rule means that no club-owned boats with fewer than 4 oars are allowed out on the water when the combined temperature of the air and the water is below 90 degrees.
The exceptions are:
- Boats which will be escorted by or in the line of sight of a coach in a launch for the entire row;
- Privately-owned boats, which are rowed at the owner's risk
Some things to keep in mind:
- Body heat is lost up to 4 times faster in water than air
- Cold shock is dangerous even when water is 60 degrees (it's 47 right now)
- Hypothermia begins when the body temperature is less than 95...
- Getting back in the boat (when was the last time you practiced that? how long did it take?) is only part of the danger, now you're rowing to safety in wet clothes and moving air...
- Should you go in, DON'T LEAVE THE BOAT, the shore might look close, but you have no floatation and WET CLOTHES, if you believe you must swim to shore, then swim with the boat as your floatation
- Remember that for long stretches of the river there are walls that you will not be able to climb
All Together! (safely)