Designated Person Ashore

Role of Designated Person Ashore (DPA) / Beach Master


The designated person ashore will help coordinate crew changeovers and act as a point of contact for crews during scheduled training times.

Rostering of Duties:

The role of the designated person ashore will be rotated between adult rowing crews. Each crew will take a rostered week and act as DPA. The roster will be circulated by the scheduler via the ‘Club Captains’ WhatsApp group.  Keys and lock codes will be provided to the crew captain to be shared between their crew for the week.

Before you arrive:

Check the local weather forecast for Skerries in the lead up to beach master. Pay particular attention to the wind and swell. Also check the tides so you know if the tide is coming in or going out.

If you arrive and feel conditions are unsafe to row, advise the crew captains.

Duties – General:
  • Arrive at least fifteen minutes ahead of the first crew to collect VHF radios and bollard key from the notice board in HQ. The key for the bollard is attached to a tennis ball (Wilson). This key is the property of Fingal Co Council, it must stay in HQ at the end of all rowing activities.


  • Check the battery life and operation of VHF radios prior to launch.
  • Advise all crews to have the radios turned to channel 74 and the volume up for communication with the beach master.
  • Ensure crews check their boat and oars prior to launch. Note down any damage to the boats and report it to our quartermaster.


  • Assist crews launching boats for the evening. Keep a close eye on Junior Crews that are launching boats. Especially if the slipway is slippery. If you feel it’s not safe, request help from parents or other boat crews also launching at the same time.
  • Notify all crews of the change over location (Sailing slip, RNLI Slip, South Beach etc).

During the season, slipways can become dangerous and require cleaning. If you feel the slipway is not safe for launching and retrieving boats, advise the crews. This is more applicable during low tides. If any club members fall and injure themselves please inform the club Health & Safety Officer.

  • Ensure that all crews and coxes are wearing life jackets when out on the water, no exceptions.
  • Monitor crew timekeeping to ensure changeovers occur as per schedule at the designated changeover location.
  • Ensure launching trailers are parked responsibly. Ensure that trailers do not block access routes or slipways when left unattended. Where possible trailers should be kept away from cars parked in the harbour. At low tides trailers can be left on the beach.
  • Perform radio checks with boats when they are out on the water. A simple ‘Beach master, radio check Na Sceri’ will suffice. If there are any issues with radios please alert the quartermaster.
  • When boats are returned to the pen assist crews removing water using the hand pumps. Cover each boat with the blue tarps and secure them tight to avoid water entering the skiffs in heavy rain.
  • At the end of each evening all radios and the key for the bollard must be returned to HQ. Make sure to lock the bollard that divides the south strand and north harbour, next to the scout den.
  • Place all radios on charge after training. Rinse off any salt water with fresh water.
  • Make sure the HQ and pen are kept clean, tidy and locked during and at the end of each training session.
Duties – Safety:
  • The designated person ashore acts as the first point of contact with crews afloat. They can relay messages or contact emergency services if required. (112/999 or VHF Ch16)
  • Record all damage or equipment breakages and report these at the end of the session to the quartermaster who will inform the committee. (It is the responsibility of all rowers to report damage/breakages at crew changeover)
  • Monitor weather – can return crews to shore if the weather deteriorates/looks to deteriorate. (Thunder/lightning/Fog = always cancels rowing and returns all crews to the nearest safe shore immediately)

Can you row if no beach master is present?

From time to time there may be no beach master present during rowing sessions. The beach master may row with a crew during training sessions. There is unlikely to be a beach master present during long rows or weekend rows.

The role is not safety critical; it serves to aid the function of crew rostering and changeovers and act as an additional safety relay point of contact if required during training. Each crew is primarily responsible for their own safety on the water, the club provides VHF radios for communication and each crew member is responsible for their own lifejacket.

Further training:

Every year Skerries Rowing Club attends training provided by the RNLI in Skerries. At these sessions club members learn about life jackets, tides, currents, local geography and other safety systems in place. It’s advised all club members attend these sessions as the information learned is applicable to the role of beachmaster.