Lately the Dutch Department of Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) runs a big advertisement campaign in the papers. Rijkswaterstaat is looking for new staff: stewards who will support the lock-keepers of the most frequented locks during the crowded periods in the spring- and summer- season.
The Steward is the "visting-card" of Rijkswaterstaat in the locks and responsible for, among other things:
* Giving instructions to the skippers at the entrances and exits of locks, taking account of the space that larger ships need;
* Informing skippers (especially recreational boating) where they must take place in the lock and monitor the speed and safety of the lock;
* Transmitting messages from the lock-keeper to skippers;
* Supporting skippers (especially recreational boating) in the mooring of boats;
* Informing waterway-users about activities in the region, security on the water and closed waterways;
* Distribution of information to skippers and answering questions.
Though I am very confident with the customer-friendliness of the lock-keepers of Rijkswaterstaat - this new service is very welcome of course! Rijkswaterstaat exploits the National waterways of the Netherlands and the big locks/sluices. To my experience the bigger the lock, the less problems the lock-keepers makes with opening the doors for a little kayak... While the big sealocks take kayaks for granted, no problem - with small locks in the regional waterways it's often a tiring discussion with the lock-keeper before he's willing to open the door for a kayak...
The other water-authorities should take an exemplar of this good initiative of Rijkswaterstaat!
Btw: the German Department of Public Works too: read Jörgen's recent adventures with German Lock-keepers...
Locks on the small pictures: top-down:
- Zeesluis Muiden, Vecht - IJmeer
- Oudhuizersluis, Heinoomsvaart
- Schutsluis Woerdense Verlaat, Vecht