VOICES 28 THURSDAY JULY 10 2008 TODAY
WATER SPORTS SAFETY
Another death: Isn’t it time we learn?
see full article at http://www.todayonline.com/pdf_main.asp?pubdate=20080710
OFFICIAL GUIDELINES ON PERSONAL FLOATATION AIDS (Lift Vests)
Under the panel’s recommendations:
The IDBF water safety policy makes the wearing of Personal Floatation Aids (PFAs) conditional as dragon boaters generally compete in sheltered or placid waters.
Where the conditions are otherwise, the Safety Inquiry Panel supports the IDBF rules which makes it compulsory for PFAs to be worn, as PFAs do aid in the saving of lives.
Crew managers should therefore demand participants wear PFAs in adverse racing or training conditions.
The IDBF Members Handbook adds:
In a formal competitive event and on a placid water course ...
the IDBF Rules of Racing do not require an experienced competitor to wear a PFA (Life Vest)
However, even in perfect racing conditions, both the boat helm and drummer are advised to wear PFAs
In an informal competitive event, such as a festival race, all competitors are advised to wear PFAs
In adverse racing ... especially in open water or rivers, crew managers of experienced crew should advise all their competitors to wear PFAs
Note: Open water is defined as large and very large inland lakes and reservoirs, tidal estuaries, open harbours and the sea.
It is the crew manager’s responsibility to ensure that ... any weak swimmers are provided with PFAs