The Canadian Sculling Marathon (CSM) is committed to the safety of its participants while they are engaged in CSM related athletics or volunteering.

This weather action plan (WAP) provides an outline of the steps to be taken in the event that adverse weather conditions become a safety concern.

Environment Canada and The Weather Network web-sites will be monitored in real-time to ensure the course remains free of dangerous, or at-risk weather systems including: extreme heat, high winds, high wind gusts, heavy fog, heavy rain with the risk of thunderstorms, thunderstorms.

The above websites, including radar data, will be monitored by the CSM Race Marshall, Safety Officer and Dock Marshall.

The CSM Race Marshall will initiate the Weather Action Plan in the event of the above listed weather-related concerns, in consultation with the Dock Marshall, in order to ensure the safety of CSM competitors and volunteers.


  • The Race Marshall will initiate the command to evacuate the water, and immediately contact the safety boats with the nature of the weather-related concern.

  • Safety boat operators will announce by megaphone, to near-by rowers, of the initiation of the Weather Action Plan with the following command:

    "Due to dangerous weather, all row boats must immediately evacuate the water"

  • The safety boat operator will then proceed to their nearest evacuation site, and call back to confirm they have excited the water, and are in a safe location.

  • The Race Marshall and Dock Marshall will mobilize additional volunteer support in order to call all crews and single scullers by cell phone with a weather update, including the specific concern.

  • Contact information for Crew Captain/Coxswain/Single sculler, will be available at the First aid area. Multiple copies will be available.

  • Calls to crews will be placed as followed:

    • 2X+, 4X+: To the Coxswain

    • 4X, 2X, 1X: To the Captain

  • The volunteer will help the Captain/Coxswain make a decision as to the safest place to evacuate, based on the boats current location on the river, and specific weather concern.

  • If safe to do so, all boats will evacuate to one of three primary emergency zones (see weather action map):

    • Ottawa New Edinburgh Rowing Club (EZ1)

    • Ottawa Rowing Club (EZ2)

    • Blair Road Boat Launch (EZ3)

  • If it is not safe to proceed back to one of the above listed evacuation areas (example: lightning in the immediate vicinity), then the crew or single sculler must evacuate to a secondary emergency zone (see weather action map).

    • Eastern tip of Victoria Island

    • Portage Champlain Yacht Club

    • The Boathouse restaurant docks

    • Kichissippi Marina

    • North beaches of the Upper Duck Island

    • Eastern point of the Lower Duck Island

    • Rockcliffe Yacth club

  • If the secondary emergency zone remains too far, then boats must go to directly to shore where trees may attract lightning away & proceed to exit the boat and leave the water if safe to do so.

  • Next, the volunteer will instruct the coxswain to call back to confirm they have exited the course, and are at a safe location.

  • The volunteer will report to the Race Marshal and Dock Marshall that the crew or single sculler has safely exited the river, and all rowers are accounted for and in good health.

  • The Race Marshall and Dock Marshall will be jointly responsible for ensuring the evacuation log (appendix I - available in pdf copy only), has been completed, and that all boats have made it to safety.

  • In the event of a major injury or medical emergency during activation of the Weather Action Plan, the Captain or Coxswain is to dial 911.

  • Once safe to do so, the Race Marshall will initiate the order to have safety boats return to the river.

  • Depending on the length of the weather delay, rowing boats will either be escorted back to ONEC directly, or allowed to continue along the designated CSM course, if safe to do so.


  • Carry enough water for the duration of the rowing that you have planned. If rowing in the 42K Marathon, ensure you replenish your reusable water bottle at the water filling station.

  • Safety boats will carry additional water (plastic water bottles), in the event a rower runs out of water on the river.

  • Wear sunscreen: Generously apply sunscreen 30 minutes before getting onto the course, use a SPF of 30 or higher and use a product with a label of “water resistant” to allow for sweaty skin.

  • Wear a hat.

  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

  • Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion early (Medical concern, initiate CSM Emergency Response plan):

    • Faint or dizzy

    • Excessive sweating

    • Cool, pale or clammy skin

    • Nausea, vomiting

    • Rapid, weak pulse

    • Muscle cramps

  • Recognize the signs of heat stoke (Medical emergency, initiate CSM Emergency Response plan):

    • Throbbing headache

    • No sweating

    • Red, hot, dry skin

    • Nausea, vomiting

    • May lose consciousness