Friday, March 05, 2010

safe swimming

How good is that paper the POST? They keep the Rotto stories coming. Admirable...

Organisers of the Rottnest Channel Swim say they will heed calls to make the event safer.

A skipper in last month's event said it could be made safer in two ways.

“It was pretty chaotic and dangerous, and I think there are a couple of simple things they could do,” said the skipper, who did not want to be identified.

“They should limit the size of support craft and not make swimmers pass south of the marker buoys.”

The skipper said he would prefer to see a maximum boat length of about 30ft.

“I felt it was an accident waiting to happen,” he said. “There were 35ft launches out there – three times one in particular nearly ran over our swimmer.

“The driver wasn't being a hooligan – he just couldn't see around his bow.”

The skipper said the south of the buoy rule made for heavy congestion on the way to the island.

“Prior to the event I was keen for my children to make the swim,” he said. “After what I saw last month there is no way I would let that happen.”

The skipper said there was a lot of chatter on radios during the race about congestion and safety.

Rottnest Channel Swim Association president Ceri Writer said the event debriefing process had started.

“We are always looking for that type of feedback – we are all about safety,” she said.

“The rule about the buoys is to ensure there is no deviation by swimmers into the ferry channel. But we would review it if it is causing a problem.”

Ms Writer said no major injuries were reported from the event.

One boat capsized on its way back to the mainland: the crew was rescued and the boat was towed by Water Police to Fremantle.

Fremantle Sea Rescue said one of the five people on board was a non-swimmer and was not wearing a life jacket.

“In the sea conditions the chances of being seen would normally have been very slim,” the service said.

Ms Writer said the financial details of the event were still being finalised.

She said details would be released to association members at their annual general meeting next month or in May.

The association is not-for-profit and donates any surplus to various charities.

The POST calculated the event generated $517,500 in entry fees, and $59,700 from a law firm's charity challenge.

Ms Writer said sponsors of the event provided cash and in-kind support.

No comments:

Post a Comment