An important part of learning to row is being able to cope safely if you end up in the water when you capsize your boat. Satisfying the club that you are both competent and confident in and under the water and able to swim at least 50 meters is important, besides knowing what to do if you capsize.
To this end the club runs swim tests and capsize training sessions at a local swimming pool. It involves swimming 50 meters in rowing kit, treading water for 2 minutes and swimming underwater for 5 meters. Single sculling boats are used in the pool for you to experience capsizing and to practice getting on top of the upturned boat and paddling.
Other rescue techniques are included, but the main golden rule is to stay with the boat using it as your life raft and to get your body out of the water as quickly as possible to reduce heat loss.