Safety Plan for Karelia Rowing Tour

  1. The security chief appointed by the board of the Karelia Rowing Tour is responsible for the security of the church boats while they are on the water. The entire rowing tour is led by the leader of the church boat rowing tour, who is also responsible for the activities that take place during stop-overs. The small boat tour is led by an appointed leader, who is also responsible for the safety aspect of the small boat tour.
  2. A separate first aid section will be appointed for the church boats. A part of that section is following the event from a safety boat, and part of it is travelling on land with the rest of the service team. An appointed person is in charge of the first aid for the small boats. The health centres that are along the route will be notified of the rowing tour and their phone numbers will be on the list of phone numbers to be distributed.
  3. The church boat rowing tour has five or six appointed safety boats for the duration of the event. A police patrol boat is also present on Lake Pielinen as well as on Lake Pyhäselkä. Also boat 'Brahea' on Lake Pielinen and boat 'Pyhäselkä' on Lake Pyhäselkä from the sea rescue association are available if necessary. There are two or three safety boats for the small boat rowing tour and from Joensuu onwards one or two additional large boats.
  4. The safety boats are leading and directing the rowing route in such a way that the leading boat is at the front, and other boats are following on each side. The safety chief will lead the tour from a location that he/she deems most appropriate. The minimum safety equipment for the safety boats is: two people, first aid kit and a life buoy. Safety boats are marked with a fixed yellow flag, and a separate yellow flag that can be used to indicate the direction of safe passage, if necessary. Safety boats also have megaphones which can be used to give instructions. In the case of an emergency, safety boats should be notified by using the international emergency signal, where your arms are straight on your side and then moved up and down repeatedly. Dangerous spots at landing sites will be marked with buoys.
  5. Every morning, half an hour before the start all skippers will be addressed, where general safety instructions and possible special instructions for the day will be given. Skippers are also responsible for the safety equipment of their boat, and for the use of life jackets if needed. The use of alcohol is governed by relevant water traffic legislation and the skipper is responsible for its use on rowing boats.
  6. The communication equipment used during the event are La- or VHF-phones, and GSM-phones. A list of important phone numbers will be distributed.

The management of the rowing tour and the security chief are responsible for organizing the ambulance service during the event. The management is also responsible for schedule changes or cancellations, as well as possible penalties.

The duties of the church boat skippers during the Karelia Rowing Tour

The skipper is the leader of the church boat, which means:

  • The skipper is responsible for the safety of the entire rowing team!
    • Governs the use of life jackets
    • Governs the rotation of the rowing shifts
    • Gives oar commands when departing and landing, i.e. pace oars are rowing, other oars are kept in upright position out of the water.
    • Is responsible for the rowing speed and pace, and for taking breaks
  • The skipper is absolutely responsible for following the correct route. Deviation from the supervised route is not allowed without permission from a safety boat crew.
    • A safety boat that is using a flag to direct traffic must be overtaken from the side of the flag
    • Landing should always take place cautiously at a location marked by a yellow flag
  • The skipper is responsible for the behaviour of the rowing team and the cleanliness on the boat
    • It is allowed to consume a moderate amount of alcoholic beverages, but drinks must not be kept "visible"
    • Litter must be disposed of properly, there must be a sufficient number of bin bags on the boat
  • The emergency signal must be used in an emergency situation
    • The common emergency signal while on water is keeping your arms straight to the side and then moving them up and down repeatedly
    • The safety boat will then come over and assist you


The languages used during the Karelia Rowing Tour: Finnish and English.