23 Sep 2005 05:54:53
Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

In the USA today another Boxer died. Clearly a dangerous sport. A rally
driver was killed last week. Another dangerous sport. Hey we had three
deaths in the recent run in the North? Running, clearly a dangerous
sport.

But rowing is safe, it is playing about in boats. Well clearly its not.
As soon as deep water is involved it becomes not just dangerous but
very dangerous.

Do we really deliver this message at the entry point of people to the
sport? Do we say, if you row in winter and fall in your life is in
danger? Do we say to parents, you should realize that a child your
sons/daughters age died last year. Are the people recruiting at
Freshers week in many universities speaking of Leo?No we talk of Pimms
and Henley, Bumps and beer.

Once we have established that rowing is dangerous, I would now be
interested to know how our sports "death per participant head count"
compares with any or all other sports. Because maybe the powers that be
look at this and say "statistically we are a safe sport"

Further more, shouldn't we be picking our fights? Sure if you see
things being missed at a regatta say something. But don't dilute the
safety crusade by focussing on heel restraints which fundementally are
the responsibility of the athelete and club in that order. Because if
we focus on things that fundementally are day to day things a club
should be looking at we remove the emphasis on something that
absolutely undoubtedly does kill.
Sinking boats. Lets analyse exactly where the danger is and focus on
that.

Of eight boats I have been in contact with recently 7 are not buoyant
and 2 are brand new. As a worst case scenario on the water, if a crew
were to sink they would be potentially 300 meters from safety.

Basically focus the fight.

Hmmm I went off on a tangent there..I need a coffee



23 Sep 2005 06:29:12
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

I've had my coffee, and still can't believe that 7 of 8 boats that you
have been in contact with recently do not float. Or are you using
"boat" in the vernacular of the submariner service (in which case the
8th would be the anomally)?

As I've said before, rowing should strive to be the safest sport you
can do on the water, and it likely is, nothing is perfectly safe, is
it?

Potential flamers think twice, it will save a lot of time. [;o)

- Paul Smith



23 Sep 2005 14:39:27
Jon Anderson
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:
> But rowing is safe, it is playing about in boats. Well clearly its not.
> As soon as deep water is involved it becomes not just dangerous but
> very dangerous.

It's not like rallying or boxing in that with proper training and
supervision there is no need for people to get injured or die.
We can very easily mitigate the risks involved in the sport.
Rallying - one small error and your car is off the road. Boxing -
someone is trying to knock the seven shades of sh1t out of you.

Running is not particularly dangerous. So three people died from
pathological and/or physiological conditions. That can happen in rowing
too - as it did for an OUBC rower in 1991(?).
Not a running-specific problem.

Could you be more clear on all this do you think?

> Do we really deliver this message at the entry point of people to the
> sport? Do we say, if you row in winter and fall in your life is in
> danger? Do we say to parents, you should realize that a child your
> sons/daughters age died last year. Are the people recruiting at
> Freshers week in many universities speaking of Leo?No we talk of Pimms
> and Henley, Bumps and beer.

We, or at least I, talk to people who are at particular risk about the
likely problems they will face. That's common sense. Beginner scullers
in winter *must* be told about the dangers of cold water and one of my
rowers' lives was helped saved by that advice.

> Once we have established that rowing is dangerous,

You've yet to give a definition of dangerous. I am not calling it
dangerous at least until I've stopped taking practical measures like
assessing risk for an outing, checking heel restraints and bowballs,
always having lights, visible clothing and a bank party at night etc.

> I would now be
> interested to know how our sports "death per participant head count"
> compares with any or all other sports. Because maybe the powers that be
> look at this and say "statistically we are a safe sport"

Can you not find out with your wealth of contacts? :)

Jon
--
Durge: jon@durge.org http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: accounts@rowing.org.uk http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]


23 Sep 2005 07:22:02
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


Jon Anderson wrote:
> anton2468@aol.com wrote:
> > But rowing is safe, it is playing about in boats. Well clearly its not.
> > As soon as deep water is involved it becomes not just dangerous but
> > very dangerous.
>
> It's not like rallying or boxing in that with proper training and
> supervision there is no need for people to get injured or die.
> We can very easily mitigate the risks involved in the sport.
> Rallying - one small error and your car is off the road. Boxing -
> someone is trying to knock the seven shades of sh1t out of you.
>
> Running is not particularly dangerous. So three people died from
> pathological and/or physiological conditions. That can happen in rowing
> too - as it did for an OUBC rower in 1991(?).
> Not a running-specific problem.
>
> Could you be more clear on all this do you think?
Jon
I was looking for big picture numbers. Sure I understand the
differences in the sports but taking reasons for death/injury apart,
the big picture of the "what is the likelyhood of a participant in
rowing to get injured/killed" As I said if we have a figure in terms of
per 10,000 participants for example then surely we can decide how safe
or not safe the sport is.

I refer you to this link
http://www.nyssf.org/statistics1998.html
As an example which interestingly does not include any statistics about
rowing?!

>
> > Do we really deliver this message at the entry point of people to the
> > sport? Do we say, if you row in winter and fall in your life is in
> > danger? Do we say to parents, you should realize that a child your
> > sons/daughters age died last year. Are the people recruiting at
> > Freshers week in many universities speaking of Leo?No we talk of Pimms
> > and Henley, Bumps and beer.
>
> We, or at least I, talk to people who are at particular risk about the
> likely problems they will face. That's common sense. Beginner scullers
> in winter *must* be told about the dangers of cold water and one of my
> rowers' lives was helped saved by that advice.
>
I absolutely believe you do. I believe anyone on here who can, does. I
do not believe a single Freshers week in the UK will say this however.
I would wonder for instance also if the Matt Pinsent Corporate
Challenge people were educated to the risks? Was Leo told? Was the
Reading lad told?

> > Once we have established that rowing is dangerous,
>
> You've yet to give a definition of dangerous. I am not calling it
> dangerous at least until I've stopped taking practical measures like
> assessing risk for an outing, checking heel restraints and bowballs,
> always having lights, visible clothing and a bank party at night etc.
>
Well I think we have established it must be dangerous to a degree given
the water aspect. However I am trying to find if in statistical terms
it is seen as dangerous? As above, injuries or death per 10,000
participants or whatever. How does it rank and compare to other sports
unrelated and related, say football and canoeing?

> > I would now be
> > interested to know how our sports "death per participant head count"
> > compares with any or all other sports. Because maybe the powers that be
> > look at this and say "statistically we are a safe sport"
>
> Can you not find out with your wealth of contacts? :)
I would have thought that the Leo Blockley campaign would have looked
at this? I could not find anything which showed the statistical risk of
participating in rowing. These figures certainly exist for Rugby extra.


And Paul Smith, You knew exactly what I meant by boats not being
buoyant. This was not an antagonistic posting so don't be an arse with
some pompous reply about flammers. How is it we always have to listen
to Carl but no other views carry any weight? eh?

>
> Jon
> --
> Durge: jon@durge.org http://users.durge.org/~jon/
> OnStream: accounts@rowing.org.uk http://www.rowing.org.uk/
>
> [ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]



23 Sep 2005 07:22:56
donal.casey@gmail.com
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Perhaps start trawling through national stats - definitions found here

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/classifications/icd10/downloads/HSQ19_Injury_Poisoning_ICD-10.pdf



Donal



23 Sep 2005 15:24:39
Jon Anderson
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Jon Anderson wrote:
> You've yet to give a definition of dangerous. I am not calling it
> dangerous at least until I've stopped taking practical measures like
> assessing risk for an outing, checking heel restraints and bowballs,
> always having lights, visible clothing and a bank party at night etc.

Oops that is bollocks. What I MEANT to say was that I am not calling it
dangerous until I've taken into account those same safety measures and
found other problems.
How the hell I managed to type this I don't know. Distracted by work
maybe! I am not saying rowing can't be dangerous even when you've taken
reasonable safety measures.

Jon


23 Sep 2005 07:27:06
bill
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


anton2...@aol.com wrote:
> In the USA today another Boxer died. Clearly a dangerous sport. A rally
> driver was killed last week. Another dangerous sport. Hey we had three
> deaths in the recent run in the North? Running, clearly a dangerous
> sport.
>
> But rowing is safe, it is playing about in boats. Well clearly its not.
> As soon as deep water is involved it becomes not just dangerous but
> very dangerous.
>
> Do we really deliver this message at the entry point of people to the
> sport? Do we say, if you row in winter and fall in your life is in
> danger? Do we say to parents, you should realize that a child your
> sons/daughters age died last year. Are the people recruiting at
> Freshers week in many universities speaking of Leo?No we talk of Pimms
> and Henley, Bumps and beer.
>
> Once we have established that rowing is dangerous, I would now be
> interested to know how our sports "death per participant head count"
> compares with any or all other sports. Because maybe the powers that be
> look at this and say "statistically we are a safe sport"
>
> Further more, shouldn't we be picking our fights? Sure if you see
> things being missed at a regatta say something. But don't dilute the
> safety crusade by focussing on heel restraints which fundementally are
> the responsibility of the athelete and club in that order. Because if
> we focus on things that fundementally are day to day things a club
> should be looking at we remove the emphasis on something that
> absolutely undoubtedly does kill.
> Sinking boats. Lets analyse exactly where the danger is and focus on
> that.
>
> Of eight boats I have been in contact with recently 7 are not buoyant
> and 2 are brand new. As a worst case scenario on the water, if a crew
> were to sink they would be potentially 300 meters from safety.
>
> Basically focus the fight.
>
> Hmmm I went off on a tangent there..I need a coffee

Every year, a predictable number of children die from being struck with
a batted baseball. The rate of paraplegia for football players is
predictable--I think it is something like 10-20 per 100,000. (Before
the rule forbidding spearing with the head, it was over 30). You can
analyse big sports and find a finite measurable chance for death.

Can you do that for rowing? Do you expect it to be higher, lower, or
in the same general range?

What about those reports that showed that service in Iraq was actually
safer than being state-side, for certain ethnic groups? (Liars,
damnliars and statistics ;-)

I guess the way I see it, life is the leading cause of
death--everything is "dangerous" so what we mean by "dangerous" must be
something more like "more dangerous than most other activities" or
something like that.

-Bill



23 Sep 2005 07:44:41
ben
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

It's funny, I was just writing about this the other day. The basic
problem is that it's safe enough that most serious prevantative safety
measures seem overbearing. You put a hockey helmet on, it's obvious
why you need it. Same with seatbelts after you see a few bodies
mangled. But I'd be surprised if 1 in 1000 people ever inflated their
life jacket their whole careers. There are equipment changes you could
make, but I would have to agree with Mike Sullivan on the point that
education is by far and away the best way to make the sport safe. You
should know how to swim, and have decent radar for what dangerous is
and adjust accordingly.

Part of that adjustment is probably making sure your club has buoyant
boats where swamping is a possibility, but not having buoyant boats
doesn't seem outwardly reckless because the risk really is quite low
given that most of the time you don't row in really bad conditions.
Particularly if you've ever been out a lot in canoes, which get swamped
and tipped far more often than rowing shells and they are less buoyant.

Obviously, a number of things can come together and result in a
terrible tragedy despite being careful, but it's almost like it doesn't
happen frequently enough to result in enough momentum to make all boats
buoyant.

It's kind of surprising that new boats wouldn't be though. How hard
can it be?
Ben



23 Sep 2005 07:49:20
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


> Obviously, a number of things can come together and result in a
> terrible tragedy despite being careful, but it's almost like it doesn't
> happen frequently enough to result in enough momentum to make all boats
> buoyant.

Quite right, its like plane crashes, never one thing but a number of
coincidences.
>
> It's kind of surprising that new boats wouldn't be though. How hard
> can it be?
> Ben

I think that is Carls point. Even today new boats sink.



23 Sep 2005 07:55:30
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


anton2...@aol.com wrote:
>
> And Paul Smith, You knew exactly what I meant by boats not being
> buoyant. This was not an antagonistic posting so don't be an arse with
> some pompous reply about flammers. How is it we always have to listen
> to Carl but no other views carry any weight? eh?
>

Well, you've caught me out now haven't you?

What do you mean "we always have to listen to Carl"? I think I'm
rather famous for mostly arguing with the man, yet we remain friends.
(Hmmm, probably because I do listen, but have no problem disagreeing on
occaision.)

Did I say "flammers", I meant flamers?!?!

BTW - It's not just Carl, you must always listen to me also... [;o)

Cheers,
Paul Smith



23 Sep 2005 16:36:34
Neil Wallace
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:
(snip)
> Do we really deliver this message at the entry point of people to the
> sport? Do we say, if you row in winter and fall in your life is in
> danger? Do we say to parents, you should realize that a child your
> sons/daughters age died last year. Are the people recruiting at
> Freshers week in many universities speaking of Leo?No we talk of Pimms
> and Henley, Bumps and beer.

good point.




23 Sep 2005 15:41:24
Walter Martindale
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

paul_v_smith@hotmail.com wrote:
> I've had my coffee, and still can't believe that 7 of 8 boats that you
> have been in contact with recently do not float. Or are you using
> "boat" in the vernacular of the submariner service (in which case the
> 8th would be the anomally)?
>
> As I've said before, rowing should strive to be the safest sport you
> can do on the water, and it likely is, nothing is perfectly safe, is
> it?
>
> Potential flamers think twice, it will save a lot of time. [;o)
>
> - Paul Smith
>
NOT a flame.
Pity new boats are being made not bouyant.
Something many of us forget, that even if we do make our sport as safe
as possible with buoyant boats, pfds, safety launches, heel ties, bow
balls, and so on, the one truly sure thing that we will all experience
some time after being born, is death. Our own.
We may not be able to remark upon our experiences, but we will all have
at least one crack at it.
Recent events in Burnaby BC draw to our attention the mortality of all
of us, where a national champion sculler in his prime became dizzy, fell
out of his boat, was able to climb into the coach boat, but was
pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital a short time later.
Walter


23 Sep 2005 08:53:36
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


Walter Martindale wrote:
> paul_v_smith@hotmail.com wrote:
> > I've had my coffee, and still can't believe that 7 of 8 boats that you
> > have been in contact with recently do not float. Or are you using
> > "boat" in the vernacular of the submariner service (in which case the
> > 8th would be the anomally)?
> >
> > As I've said before, rowing should strive to be the safest sport you
> > can do on the water, and it likely is, nothing is perfectly safe, is
> > it?
> >
> > Potential flamers think twice, it will save a lot of time. [;o)
> >
> > - Paul Smith
> >
> NOT a flame.
> Pity new boats are being made not bouyant.
> Something many of us forget, that even if we do make our sport as safe
> as possible with buoyant boats, pfds, safety launches, heel ties, bow
> balls, and so on, the one truly sure thing that we will all experience
> some time after being born, is death. Our own.
> We may not be able to remark upon our experiences, but we will all have
> at least one crack at it.
> Recent events in Burnaby BC draw to our attention the mortality of all
> of us, where a national champion sculler in his prime became dizzy, fell
> out of his boat, was able to climb into the coach boat, but was
> pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital a short time later.
> Walter

It would not be possible for me to agree more!

As you know, we both engage is a sport that many might consider "very
dangerous", however the safety record certainly shows otherwise.

I'm also following up on an earlier promise to do what I can and work
to promote only "Fully Buoyant" boats. I'm sure a shameless plug will
be posted at some point, but it's nice to see that Swift Boats have
already been mentioned on RSR. [;o)

- Paul Smith



23 Sep 2005 18:56:48
Jon Anderson
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

ben wrote:
> It's kind of surprising that new boats wouldn't be though. How hard
> can it be?

It isn't difficult. I've asked my club to ensure each boat we get from
now on is able to float in all conditions ie. has buoyancy chambers.
Consumer pressure etc. That bit is easy I guess.
It would be advantageous in the extreme for boat builders to have some
spec to work to though. How the hell do I know that the brand new
coxless four we are buying really will seat 90kg guys when full of water?

I am guessing that this is Chris's last point. That we can worry over
this stuff in our clubs but only a meaningful standard can guarantee
that there is a point to it.

Jon
--
Durge: jon@durge.org http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: accounts@rowing.org.uk http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]


23 Sep 2005 19:13:49
Stephen Blockley
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:
>snip
>Was Leo told? Was the
> Reading lad told?

A good question. Wait and see.

> snip
> I would have thought that the Leo Blockley campaign would have looked
> at this? I could not find anything which showed the statistical risk
> of participating in rowing. These figures certainly exist for Rugby
> extra.

You are right, we have indeed looked at this. There are no available UK
statistics for deaths (or injuries) associated with rowing. There is some
data on deaths due to drowning, but it is nowhere near detailed enough.

We did this research a little while ago, while we were putting together a
document on the dangers of cold water specifically from a rowers point of
view, concentrating on how to increase one's chances of intact survival. We
don't think such a document exists anywhere else, and we believe it will be
a valuable resource for individuals and clubs alike. We were hanging on to
it until we could organise (with the good help of others) the right
"non-political" place to publish - but maybe we should get it onto the Leo
website as an interim measure.

We're all a bit preoccupied at the moment!

>snip

Jane and Stephen




23 Sep 2005 19:58:15
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Jon Anderson <jon@durge.org > writes
>ben wrote:
>> It's kind of surprising that new boats wouldn't be though. How hard
>> can it be?
>
>It isn't difficult. I've asked my club to ensure each boat we get from
>now on is able to float in all conditions ie. has buoyancy chambers.
>Consumer pressure etc. That bit is easy I guess.
>It would be advantageous in the extreme for boat builders to have some
>spec to work to though. How the hell do I know that the brand new
>coxless four we are buying really will seat 90kg guys when full of water?
>
>I am guessing that this is Chris's last point. That we can worry over
>this stuff in our clubs but only a meaningful standard can guarantee
>that there is a point to it.
>
>Jon

Correct in every particular, Jon.

The ARA has steadfastly refused to adopt a meaningful & testable
buoyancy standard. It has refused to consult on what such a standard
should contain. It has refused all offers of assistance to that end.
It refuses to refer to, consider or adopt the Shell Buoyancy Performance
Standard on:
www.leoblockley.org.uk
which has been in the public arena for almost 3 years.

Meanwhile the ARA unhelpfully tells clubs that determining the flotation
potential of a boat when swamped is the club's responsibility. Just how
many clubs have people who would know how to establish that? In the
same way & without guidance, it passes the buck to clubs on every other
safety issue.

It is a disgrace.

Cheers -
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



23 Sep 2005 12:27:58
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


Carl Douglas wrote:
> Jon Anderson <jon@durge.org> writes
> >ben wrote:
> >> It's kind of surprising that new boats wouldn't be though. How hard
> >> can it be?
> >
> >It isn't difficult. I've asked my club to ensure each boat we get from
> >now on is able to float in all conditions ie. has buoyancy chambers.
> >Consumer pressure etc. That bit is easy I guess.
> >It would be advantageous in the extreme for boat builders to have some
> >spec to work to though. How the hell do I know that the brand new
> >coxless four we are buying really will seat 90kg guys when full of water?
> >
> >I am guessing that this is Chris's last point. That we can worry over
> >this stuff in our clubs but only a meaningful standard can guarantee
> >that there is a point to it.
> >
> >Jon
>
> Correct in every particular, Jon.
>
> The ARA has steadfastly refused to adopt a meaningful & testable
> buoyancy standard. It has refused to consult on what such a standard
> should contain. It has refused all offers of assistance to that end.
> It refuses to refer to, consider or adopt the Shell Buoyancy Performance
> Standard on:
> www.leoblockley.org.uk
> which has been in the public arena for almost 3 years.
>
> Meanwhile the ARA unhelpfully tells clubs that determining the flotation
> potential of a boat when swamped is the club's responsibility. Just how
> many clubs have people who would know how to establish that? In the
> same way & without guidance, it passes the buck to clubs on every other
> safety issue.
>
> It is a disgrace.
>
> Cheers -
> Carl
> --
> Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
> Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
> Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
> Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
> URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)

But I think there is the point. Well made buoyant boats come with heel
restraints. It is up to the individual athlete/club to make sure this
is in working order. Same as loose bow balls etc. But you sinply should
not be able to race in a boat that fundementally was never designed to
float once swamped.

Therefore at a regatta its the atheletes/clubs responsibility to make
sure what should be working is working, however it is the regatta/ARA's
responsibility to say, "That boat by the very nature of its design is
not acceptable to start.



24 Sep 2005 01:22:12
adam.heayberd@gmail.com
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

with regards to the initial question......does bread come with the
label....WARNING YOU MAY CHOKE ON THE CRUMBS.....6 people in the UK
died last year from choking on their toast......

Everything is dangerous, to have a 0% death rate in any given
task/sport must be a rarity...



24 Sep 2005 11:23:03
Stephen Blockley
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

adam.heayberd@gmail.com wrote:
> with regards to the initial question......does bread come with the
> label....WARNING YOU MAY CHOKE ON THE CRUMBS.....6 people in the UK
> died last year from choking on their toast......
>
> Everything is dangerous, to have a 0% death rate in any given
> task/sport must be a rarity...

... Yes, but the point about risk is that if you are aware of it you can
take steps to a) avoid/reduce what is reasonably avoidable/reducible, and b)
learn how to improve survival if the risk becomes reality.

The risk associated with not enough buoyancy in rowing shells is easily,
cheaply and totally avoidable, with no detriment to the user or to the
sport. Had there been a more vigilant attitude to rower safety as the sport
developed this risk would never have existed in the first place - the
removal of buoyancy, or the decision to not include it in shell design bore
no advantage at all to performance. There are other risks associated with
poor design, to include the bowball issue - and the same comments apply.

Besides, we have to eat, but we don't HAVE to row.....do we? Ouch, no
need to answer that one!

J and S




24 Sep 2005 09:08:34
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


Stephen Blockley wrote:
> adam.heayberd@gmail.com wrote:
> > with regards to the initial question......does bread come with the
> > label....WARNING YOU MAY CHOKE ON THE CRUMBS.....6 people in the UK
> > died last year from choking on their toast......
> >
> > Everything is dangerous, to have a 0% death rate in any given
> > task/sport must be a rarity...
>
> ... Yes, but the point about risk is that if you are aware of it you can
> take steps to a) avoid/reduce what is reasonably avoidable/reducible, and b)
> learn how to improve survival if the risk becomes reality.
>
> The risk associated with not enough buoyancy in rowing shells is easily,
> cheaply and totally avoidable, with no detriment to the user or to the
> sport. Had there been a more vigilant attitude to rower safety as the sport
> developed this risk would never have existed in the first place - the
> removal of buoyancy, or the decision to not include it in shell design bore
> no advantage at all to performance. There are other risks associated with
> poor design, to include the bowball issue - and the same comments apply.
>
> Besides, we have to eat, but we don't HAVE to row.....do we? Ouch, no
> need to answer that one!
>
> J and S

And statistical information is needed for people to make the correct
decision. Example. Post the recent london bombings the sale of motor
scooters, bikes and especially folding bikes rocketed. People
considered the underground a terrorist target and unsafe. However in
reality by moving from underground to bike they dramtically increased
their chances of being killed/injured on their way to work. They
however did not consider this.

Now we could charge off and spend endless hours worrying about heel
restraints and find that infact statistically there is no threat.
Statistically how ever I am sure we fill find a threat from drowning in
non buoyant boats.

Information is key. Perception and facts may differ substantially.



25 Sep 2005 23:53:18
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

A problem exists when the people engaged in the activity elect to
continue with it AFTER the inherent danger has been pointed out to
them.

I was recently engaged in coaching "Corporate" rowing. In our system
people pay money, buy themselves a seat in a VIII, have 8 coaching
sessions followed by a regatta.

The rowers range from those with past rowing experience to absolute
novices, add in the words, mainly unfit & overweight.

One of the boats used in the programme is fitted with Concept 2 foot
restraints. (banned in principle by every set of race regulations in
the world)

These restraints are dangerous as it is impossible to remove the feet
in the event of a capsize.

I will not have any crew in my care use this boat, unfortunately, no
other coach nor the event organisers hold the same view and continue
to send out absolute novices in the boat. (Despite at least one VIII
every year, flipping over at the dock).

I even posted a notice in the shed warning of the dangers of the foot
restraints in this boat. It was immediately removed on the grounds that
"we don't want to alarm anyone" !!

Any way getting to the core of my point, on more than one occassion I
have gone down to the dock as a crew was settling into this boat and
observed the entire crew busily tightening the straps around their feet
(they wear runners as per the erg) as tight as possible.

I have gone to each rower and pointed out that what they are doing is
creating a danger to themselves as in the event of a rollover, they
will not be able to release their feet and there is a high likely hood
at least one if not more of them would drown before the boat could be
righted or before their feet can be released from the captive
stretchers.

(Think about it, eight middle aged women, unfit, trapped under an
upturned VIII with all their feet strapped into the bottom of the boat,
all of them in a state of panic, struggling to keep their heads above
water).

Alarming stuff this, panicked rowers jumping out of the boat in horror,
NO !!

In every case I have been greeted by a shrug of the shoulders and a
comment such as "we have not fallen out so far, so what is the
problem?"

I think this emphasises the point, that how do you save people from
themselves when it is apparent they don't care about their own safety
when the danger is clearly stated to their faces.

I have informed the owners of the boat on two occassions in writing as
to the danger of this boat and the need to replace the Concept 2 items
with proper feet restraints,only to be told , no one has capsized it
yet, it won't happen !!!

In my view the use of this boat borders on criminal negligence.

In summary rowing is a dangerous as you want to make it!!

PS I could sneak into the shed and burn the boat, as clearly they are
not going to stop using it in its present configuration. However who
is the criminal then, me !!



26 Sep 2005 00:46:03
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

mikep@commercialdesign.com.au wrote:
> A problem exists when the people engaged in the activity elect to
> continue with it AFTER the inherent danger has been pointed out to
> them.
>
> I was recently engaged in coaching "Corporate" rowing. In our system


Sorry to everyone.

The above post was supposed to be at the end of thread, as it is not a
response to any particular other post.

Mike P



26 Sep 2005 10:52:12
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

mikep@commercialdesign.com.au wrote:
> [Concept 2 flexfoot] restraints are dangerous as it is impossible to
> remove the feet in the event of a capsize.

Easily remedied by adding heel restraints yourself. Take a piece of rope,
make two small holes in the plastic bit and fasten it. (Two, because with
one centered hole the knot will press into the heel.)

--
E. Dronkert


26 Sep 2005 10:56:36
Neil Wallace
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

paul_v_smith@hotmail.com wrote:

> I'm also following up on an earlier promise to do what I can and work
> to promote only "Fully Buoyant" boats. I'm sure a shameless plug will
> be posted at some point, but it's nice to see that Swift Boats have
> already been mentioned on RSR. [;o)

so now we have 2 horrible things on our conscience if we buy a Swift boat.
1. made in China.
2. Paul Smith sells 'em.




26 Sep 2005 10:59:31
Neil Wallace
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:
> And statistical information is needed for people to make the correct
> decision. Example. Post the recent london bombings the sale of motor
> scooters, bikes and especially folding bikes rocketed. People
> considered the underground a terrorist target and unsafe. However in
> reality by moving from underground to bike they dramtically increased
> their chances of being killed/injured on their way to work. They
> however did not consider this.

people are generally quite stupid when in comes to statistics.

How many folk buy lottery tickets and a packets of fags thinking they'll win
lots of cash and not die of cancer?




26 Sep 2005 13:12:31
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

mikep@commercialdesign.com.au writes
>A problem exists when the people engaged in the activity elect to
>continue with it AFTER the inherent danger has been pointed out to
>them.
>
>I was recently engaged in coaching "Corporate" rowing. In our system
>people pay money, buy themselves a seat in a VIII, have 8 coaching
>sessions followed by a regatta.
>
>The rowers range from those with past rowing experience to absolute
>novices, add in the words, mainly unfit & overweight.
>
>One of the boats used in the programme is fitted with Concept 2 foot
>restraints. (banned in principle by every set of race regulations in
>the world)
>
>These restraints are dangerous as it is impossible to remove the feet
>in the event of a capsize.
>
>I will not have any crew in my care use this boat, unfortunately, no
>other coach nor the event organisers hold the same view and continue
>to send out absolute novices in the boat. (Despite at least one VIII
>every year, flipping over at the dock).
>
> I even posted a notice in the shed warning of the dangers of the foot
>restraints in this boat. It was immediately removed on the grounds that
>"we don't want to alarm anyone" !!
>

<Snip >

Mike - I don't know where in Oz you are, but you might like to compare
notes on this with Nick Suess in Perth. He has much common ground he
may care to share with you.

Folk moan about lawyers, but I can't think of any better way of getting
lawyers actively involved in rowing but to rowing's total disadvantage
than for a club to act in that way. Can you imagine the guy who took
down the warning being grilled on his action by a lawyer acting on
behalf of a drowned lawyer? Taken to the cleaners would not be the half
of it. I suspect that removing a safety warning of that kind could
count as a criminal act.

We none of us want to "make a fuss", & individuals can sometimes be
pretty bloody obtuse when challenged on lunatic behaviour, but I reckon
there's a bullet badly needs biting there. Even though those novice
rowers had flip answers about it not having happened yet, the day they
do flip all hell will break loose & the liability will be hung firmly
around the necks of the club & those who put those people afloat. The
message has somehow to be got across, by force or "underhand" methods
(short of boat burning) if need be, & before it really does go wrong.

Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



26 Sep 2005 06:05:30
Jonny
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

I have seen the C2 erg footstretcher set up done 'properly' with a
quick pull release loop of rope. This is done by Sykes. In the same way
you pull the rope to release your velcro on your shoes (no, even with
heel restraints, you don't always fall/pull out of the shoes), you can
release the C2 erg things.

...still not my prefered option though.

Rowing IS inherently dangerous. It is a watersport for starters - not
many people drown on soccer or rugby pitches. I always point out to my
beginners (our club has a big learn to row and novice focus) that it is
a dangerous sport.

I agree with most of the things being said, but not necessarily the
emphasis.

Carl is right about bouyancy saving lives - but, as pointed out, he
does bang on about it.

Leo Blockley was not killed by a lack of bouyancy. He might have been
saved by having a boat that would float, but what got him was a lack of
a safety plan, poor coaching, club management and a 'we'll be right
attitude'. I don't mean to be rude to people I have never met, but the
Army here has a saying about the "Seven P's". Piss Poor Planing
Promotes Piss Poor Performance.

Cheaper, non bouyant boats are not necessarily evil.
Would you take a Tour de France road bicycle down a mountain track? No.
Why not? Because it is not the right equipment for the job. Get a
mountain bike. Drive that Formula 1 car to the shops? I don't think so.
So why do people row in poor conditions (either weather or prevailiing
sh!ttyness of that location) in what are very fragile and highly
specialised racing boats?

If you have rough or unpredictable conditions - buy boats that Carl
would approve of.
Your club is on a protected reach of a river or on a mill pond? Maybe
the less bouyant boat is fine.
On race day it shouldn't matter (safety boats, controlled courses etc).

My point is that it is all about THINKING SMART and PLANNING SMART.
This is how people who do dangerous things (handle fireworks or
explosives) don't get hurt. A modern car with anti-lock brakes,
stability control, airbags etc etc can still have an accident if there
is an idiot (or an inexperienced/young person) behind the wheel.

It is NOT ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT OR THE RULES. It is about EDUCATION and a
willingness for people to pull their heads out of their backsides and
do something differently and do something in a way that thinks forward
and thinks for others.

Road rules and modern cars don't stop all accidents. Good driver
training and a healthy attitude (respect for the dangers of driving and
respect for other road users) are the key.

We need to improve rowing from this view point. Mandated rules might
help, but they will not get us all the way.



26 Sep 2005 14:57:41
chris harrison
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Neil Wallace wrote:
> How many folk buy lottery tickets and a packets of fags thinking they'll win
> lots of cash and not die of cancer?
>
>

There's a difference between those two. The lottery is almost an inverse
of risk analysis. I'm not sure how many people play the lottery
*expecting* to win - but many people will buy a ticket because they can
afford to lose a pound given that that 'loss' could bring them immense
reward (and the warm feeling of doing some little good, too).

Quite why anyone would smoke is beyond me, so I can do nothing but agree
with you there ...


26 Sep 2005 18:00:45
Neil Wallace
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

chris harrison wrote:
> Neil Wallace wrote:
>> How many folk buy lottery tickets and a packets of fags thinking
>> they'll win lots of cash and not die of cancer?
>>
>>
>
> There's a difference between those two. The lottery is almost an
> inverse of risk analysis. I'm not sure how many people play the
> lottery *expecting* to win - but many people will buy a ticket
> because they can afford to lose a pound given that that 'loss' could
> bring them immense reward (and the warm feeling of doing some little
> good, too).
> Quite why anyone would smoke is beyond me, so I can do nothing but
> agree with you there ...

You're right... Lottery ticket bad example.
I was going to mention the "beef on the bone" fiasco as a better example of
an action massively disproportionate to the risks involved.




26 Sep 2005 19:31:24
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Jonny <jonny.cantwell@bigpond.com > writes
>I have seen the C2 erg footstretcher set up done 'properly' with a
>quick pull release loop of rope. This is done by Sykes. In the same way
>you pull the rope to release your velcro on your shoes (no, even with
>heel restraints, you don't always fall/pull out of the shoes), you can
>release the C2 erg things.
>
>...still not my prefered option though.
>
>Rowing IS inherently dangerous. It is a watersport for starters - not
>many people drown on soccer or rugby pitches. I always point out to my
>beginners (our club has a big learn to row and novice focus) that it is
>a dangerous sport.
>
>I agree with most of the things being said, but not necessarily the
>emphasis.
>
>Carl is right about bouyancy saving lives - but, as pointed out, he
>does bang on about it.
>
>Leo Blockley was not killed by a lack of bouyancy. He might have been
>saved by having a boat that would float, but what got him was a lack of
>a safety plan, poor coaching, club management and a 'we'll be right
>attitude'. I don't mean to be rude to people I have never met, but the
>Army here has a saying about the "Seven P's". Piss Poor Planing
>Promotes Piss Poor Performance.

The new Inquest starts next Monday, so in a couple of weeks or so we may
all learn to what extent your distant judgement fits the facts.

A particular accident can only occur if every link in its causal chain
is kept intact. Suppose you can point to a connected string of
management failures or shortcomings, every one of which had to happen
for the eventual swamping situation to occur? Even so, had the boat
been adequately buoyant, the chain of causation would have been broken
at that point, the crew would not have ended up swimming, Leo would not
have drowned & we'd not be having this discussion.

You cannot legislate for "correct" human behaviour. You can train
people for it but, as made painfully clear by Mike P's posting today,
people find many ways to screw up or spurn good advice. They get cocky
& sometimes that kills. Sadly, it doesn't always kill the perpetrator.

However, you can most certainly regulate equipment construction. And it
is easy to test & enforce.

Leo's boat could & should have been built fully buoyant. The risks had
been known for 100 years. But each time a rower drowned when a shell
swamped, the root cause & the ease of remedying it were collectively
ignored & the old fictions, that shells can't be made to float & that
"the victim swam away", were cynically recycled. In that way I would
agree that better thought & planning - by generations of rowing
officials & boat builders leading to all crew shells (not just singles &
doubles) being fully buoyant - could have prevented Leo's death.

>
>Cheaper, non bouyant boats are not necessarily evil.
>Would you take a Tour de France road bicycle down a mountain track? No.
>Why not? Because it is not the right equipment for the job. Get a
>mountain bike. Drive that Formula 1 car to the shops? I don't think so.
>So why do people row in poor conditions (either weather or prevailiing
>sh!ttyness of that location) in what are very fragile and highly
>specialised racing boats?
>
>If you have rough or unpredictable conditions - buy boats that Carl
>would approve of.
>Your club is on a protected reach of a river or on a mill pond? Maybe
>the less bouyant boat is fine.
>On race day it shouldn't matter (safety boats, controlled courses etc).
>

There are no "one venue" boats in competitive rowing. Crews race in
many different venues, & while most have ample safety resources so that
equipment fallibility is less of an issue, there have been some
incredibly near-run things at head races in the UK in the last 20 years
& some nasty mishaps elsewhere. However, crews increasingly train on
waters which are far from predictable & increasingly train on other
waters than their own, & in both situations nasty things can & do
happen. Those crews do this in the only equipment they have, which is
what they race in & just the same as everyone else uses.

Nor do boatbuilders build more or less safe boats for different waters,
any more than car-makers build more or less safe cars for use on
different classes of road. Furthermore, new shells are bought
principally for the club's top crews, may pass down through the club, &
may also be sold on to other clubs in other locations.
.
>My point is that it is all about THINKING SMART and PLANNING SMART.
>This is how people who do dangerous things (handle fireworks or
>explosives) don't get hurt. A modern car with anti-lock brakes,
>stability control, airbags etc etc can still have an accident if there
>is an idiot (or an inexperienced/young person) behind the wheel.
>
>It is NOT ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT OR THE RULES. It is about EDUCATION and a
>willingness for people to pull their heads out of their backsides and
>do something differently and do something in a way that thinks forward
>and thinks for others.
>
>Road rules and modern cars don't stop all accidents. Good driver
>training and a healthy attitude (respect for the dangers of driving and
>respect for other road users) are the key.
>
>We need to improve rowing from this view point. Mandated rules might
>help, but they will not get us all the way.
>

However much you may capitalise in your effort to make your point, I do
think you miss the target. Car accident, injury & fatality rates have
generally fallen, which is generally agreed to be due less to better
training (although that helps) than to better design, construction,
safety features, tyres, brakes, roads, etc. Not one of those has
anything to do with training. Yet those safer cars do really save
lives, even the lives of complete idiots - despite the ever increasing
power & performance of road vehicles. The same applies to aviation
safety. And to industrial safety.

I do entirely agree on the need for better training & better discipline
among rowers. The more you know about something, the more you respect
it, the more you understand your limitations & the more you realise how
little you know. The better you know water, & the more experience you
have of how things can & do go wrong, the less likely you are to take
chances.

But none of that seems to stop some folk from doing damn fool things,
getting themselves or others into trouble & not having the resources to
get safely home again. Accidents do happen. Many rowers, coaches &
club officials do lack a thorough training. And that's where the safety
performance of your equipment really counts - when things have already
gone wrong. Just the same as crumple zones, anti-lock brakes, seat
belts, air bags & so on really do save a multitude of stupid, careless
or unlucky motorists' lives. They break that last link in the chain
which might otherwise lead to death or a more serious injury.

Due solely to improve safety provisions, drivers today walk away from
crashes which would have certainly killed them 20 years ago. I'd have
liked Leo to have had a boat which improved his chances of survival.
Especially since the cost of achieving that would have been absolute
peanuts

Cheers -
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



26 Sep 2005 17:12:20
Jonny
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Carl,
you are correct to say car accidents etc have reduced, but the analogy
still stands for the illustrative purposes that it was used in.
Consider the sheer number of road miles covered and the number of
people doing it and compare it to rowing. (And car makers do make
'less' safe cars - compare a top of the range BMW, Volvo or Merc to a
small 3 door hatch from Korea)

The thing that disappoints me is that it has taken a death to get
people thinking and acting. Anyone lurking on this discussion who knows
me from my local area may have heard me say that safety will only
improve when we have a spate of accidents, a big accident, or someone
dies. Until then people just bumble along without thinking. I get
accused of being a bit morbid, but I know I am right. It always takes a
shock to get people off their arses. People like to ignore the 'boat
house bitch', but there is a reason for the way we want things done,
even if it does seem un-neccessary.

You say that there is to be a second inquest. This may be a good thing
or it might be a waste of time - but the key is that people are
thinking about it.

Lets go into rewind to that day in Spain and make all things equal
except for one thing - the boys are in a boat that is buoyant.

The same things happen. The same coaching boats break down. There is
the same level of preparation. There is no 'drill' for capsize or
swamping. There is no local knowledge of conditions. The same weather
pattern and water conditions arrive. The same couple of boats get in to
trouble.

With the buoyant boat we end up with 9 lads with wet backsides and a
story to tell over a pint later on after they are finally rescued.

Nothing else would have changed.
We would probably not be having this discussion and there would be no
foundation working for change. It took a death to get somethings
discussed and others accelerated.

Chris mentioned the lottery ticket above - he is talking about risk
analysis. If people were better at it, I like to think that we wouldn't
need to have buoyant boats or strong rules because people would avoid
needing them. I like the fact that my car has an airbag, but I have
never needed it because I am not a git behind the wheel (and have
luckily not had any other git hit me!).

Carl, you say that survivability in cars is improved over the last 20
years and that a buoyant boat would have saved Leo. You are 100%
correct and I agree with you. But this is not the key to or the core of
the problem. Survivability is up, but are there any fewer accidents? I
don't think so.

No number of safety devices or rules will change the core of the
problem. The safety devices may increase your odds of survival. But
wouldn't it be so much easier to never get into the position of needing
them in the first place? Leo wouldn't have needed a buoyant boat to
save him if proper planning and risk analysis was done. The boat either
would not have been in a position to sink, or a rescue/safety plan
would have activated that would have got the lads out of the water
quickly and safely.

I read a lot of things when the incident first happened. My reaction
was "how did things get to this point?" Things can go wrong or be
unexpected, but once you get past 2 or 3 "what if" or "if only this
didn't happen" comments you start to suspect the "Seven P's" are coming
into play (see earlier). Another army saying - once is an accident,
twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action - by the time you
have two or three weak links in the chain I don't think you can hide
behind the 'unexpected' and 'accident' tags.

That is the key that people are missing most in these discussions.

I am looking at this from a "prevention is better that cure"
perspective. Carl is looking at a "cure" that can step in and work if
there is no "prevention". We are both just as right as each other, just
looking at the chicken and egg conundrum from opposite ends.



27 Sep 2005 12:47:45
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Jonny <jonny.cantwell@bigpond.com > writes
<snip >
>
>Carl, you say that survivability in cars is improved over the last 20
>years and that a buoyant boat would have saved Leo. You are 100%
>correct and I agree with you. But this is not the key to or the core of
>the problem. Survivability is up, but are there any fewer accidents? I
>don't think so.
>
>No number of safety devices or rules will change the core of the
>problem. The safety devices may increase your odds of survival. But
>wouldn't it be so much easier to never get into the position of needing
>them in the first place? Leo wouldn't have needed a buoyant boat to
>save him if proper planning and risk analysis was done. The boat either
>would not have been in a position to sink, or a rescue/safety plan
>would have activated that would have got the lads out of the water
>quickly and safely.
>
>I read a lot of things when the incident first happened. My reaction
>was "how did things get to this point?" Things can go wrong or be
>unexpected, but once you get past 2 or 3 "what if" or "if only this
>didn't happen" comments you start to suspect the "Seven P's" are coming
>into play (see earlier). Another army saying - once is an accident,
>twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action - by the time you
>have two or three weak links in the chain I don't think you can hide
>behind the 'unexpected' and 'accident' tags.
>
>That is the key that people are missing most in these discussions.
>
>I am looking at this from a "prevention is better that cure"
>perspective. Carl is looking at a "cure" that can step in and work if
>there is no "prevention". We are both just as right as each other, just
>looking at the chicken and egg conundrum from opposite ends.
>

Jonny -
I doubt that there is much difference between us on this.

I mustn't prejudge next week's inquest & won't therefore discuss the
various individual & collective actions immediately before the Amposta
accident & ever since. In due course it should become clear why the
High Court ordered a new inquest, but it should be noted that the
overturning of an inquest verdict & the calling of a fresh inquest is
very unusual. Whatever transpires next week, & I suspect it won't be
much fun, I deeply regret for the sake of _all_ concerned that events in
Amposta at the end of 2000 did not turn out very differently.

I think there is a surfeit of casual arrogance in the way some of us
conduct parts of our sport. Too many people with too thin a veneer of
real knowledge pretending to know it all. Too few people willing to
consult or listen - especially to those with relevant experience or
views contrary to their own. Too many closed minds. In general an
insouciant attitude towards safety in this growing sport. And minimal
understanding of the adverse consequences likely for us all when a major
screw-up occurs & is then badly mishandled by the sport.

That, perhaps, is due in part to an attitude which makes those who shout
loudest think they coach best. It is due also to the lust of some
officials (by no means all - lest I yet again upset the ties among us)
for "importance" - in which they get over-political & their self-regard
shuts off their listening, thinking & self-critical functions.

I am right with you that we need to open eyes & ears. We do need to get
people, at all levels of rowing, to think more - about their conduct &
discipline, about their own safety, about the safety of others & about
the care, maintenance & safe construction of all the equipment. I think
it needs to be a top-down approach, which may need to start with the
removal of dead wood right up at the top.

Cheers -
Carl

PS on the chicken & egg conundrum:
Is the chicken merely the egg's means of ensuring there will be future
generations of eggs, or is it the other way about?
C
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



27 Sep 2005 05:52:43
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?




> I think there is a surfeit of casual arrogance in the way some of us
> conduct parts of our sport. Too many people with too thin a veneer of
> real knowledge pretending to know it all. Too few people willing to
> consult or listen - especially to those with relevant experience or
> views contrary to their own. Too many closed minds. In general an
> insouciant attitude towards safety in this growing sport. And minimal
> understanding of the adverse consequences likely for us all when a major
> screw-up occurs & is then badly mishandled by the sport.

Carl to some extent I think you could be accused of having a closed
mind to any other path of approaching this buoyancy issue. You have
aimed all your venom at a group who from the off (shameful as it is)
have not been listening. To some degree you have been shouting at a
wall when by turning around and addressing in a public fashion the rank
and file, you would have had more exposure and success. You had two
very good examples in Leo and the Reading lad to make a case to people
who the audience can relate to.

Students love good causes and you would have had a legion of supporters
I would suspect. But letter to Headmasters are no where near as
effective as speaking to Mothers at Nat Schools etc etc.


> That, perhaps, is due in part to an attitude which makes those who shout
> loudest think they coach best. It is due also to the lust of some
> officials (by no means all - lest I yet again upset the ties among us)
> for "importance" - in which they get over-political & their self-regard
> shuts off their listening, thinking & self-critical functions.

You are right here so why not look for another avenue


> I am right with you that we need to open eyes & ears. We do need to get
> people, at all levels of rowing, to think more - about their conduct &
> discipline, about their own safety, about the safety of others & about
> the care, maintenance & safe construction of all the equipment. I think
> it needs to be a top-down approach, which may need to start with the
> removal of dead wood right up at the top.

But the campaign has not been addressed in any visible way at the very
people who you admit need to be informed "all levels of rowing". You
can't remove the top. Its a revolution Carl and revolutions start in
the mines and factories, not by individuals shouting at the top. But
the workers have not be preached to. I have said this in the past. No
presence at the big school and club regattas, nothing at Henley. Lots
of ranting to a very limited audience on RSR. If that is not preaching
to the choir I don't know what is!

I honestly hope that this further inquest sees the type of ruling that
has the effect that you and Stephen wish for. I am not convinced it
will to an extent that will shake foundations at the ARA. Once this
inquest is finished, the impact of the Leo arguement declines and I
feel an opportunity was lost to leverage off this with the people who
really need to be addressed which is rank and file rowers.

And I know I will get a lengthy reply suggesting that I do something
and how hard everyone has been working etc. etc. But sometimes even you
need to step back and look at the big picture.


>
> Cheers -
> Carl
>
> PS on the chicken & egg conundrum:
> Is the chicken merely the egg's means of ensuring there will be future
> generations of eggs, or is it the other way about?
> C
> --
> Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
> Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
> Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
> Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
> URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



27 Sep 2005 06:18:14
Liz
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


anton2468@aol.com wrote:
>
> I honestly hope that this further inquest sees the type of ruling that
> has the effect that you and Stephen wish for. I am not convinced it
> will to an extent that will shake foundations at the ARA. Once this
> inquest is finished, the impact of the Leo arguement declines and I
> feel an opportunity was lost to leverage off this with the people who
> really need to be addressed which is rank and file rowers.
>
I understand that everything is under wraps until the inqueet starts,
but once in progress is it 'allowed' that someone could post updates of
proceedings / new evidence etc - or does that potentially prejudice the
outcome?



27 Sep 2005 16:21:57
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Liz <liz.platts@amersham.com > writes
>
>anton2468@aol.com wrote:
>>
>> I honestly hope that this further inquest sees the type of ruling that
>> has the effect that you and Stephen wish for. I am not convinced it
>> will to an extent that will shake foundations at the ARA. Once this
>> inquest is finished, the impact of the Leo arguement declines and I
>> feel an opportunity was lost to leverage off this with the people who
>> really need to be addressed which is rank and file rowers.
>>
>I understand that everything is under wraps until the inqueet starts,
>but once in progress is it 'allowed' that someone could post updates of
>proceedings / new evidence etc - or does that potentially prejudice the
>outcome?
>

I understand that the press may attend & may report, as with any case on
which reporting restrictions have not been imposed.

Carl
--
Carl Douglas


27 Sep 2005 16:17:50
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com writes
>
<Snip >
>
>I honestly hope that this further inquest sees the type of ruling that
>has the effect that you and Stephen wish for. I am not convinced it
>will to an extent that will shake foundations at the ARA. Once this
>inquest is finished, the impact of the Leo arguement declines and I
>feel an opportunity was lost to leverage off this with the people who
>really need to be addressed which is rank and file rowers.
>
>And I know I will get a lengthy reply suggesting that I do something
>and how hard everyone has been working etc. etc. But sometimes even you
>need to step back and look at the big picture.
>
That's OK, Anton. I have a broad back ;^)

I actually think we're hitting the right buttons. Rowing has a
constantly changing cast &, for this & many other reasons, I don't think
rowing safety can be implemented half as well from the bottom up as from
the top down. Trying from the edge to educate rowers en masse about
safety, in an environment with historically low/flippant regard for
safety, merely invites scorn (a plentiful commodity) in return for
gargantuan effort. Having tried that, we find the cost too high. There
is a limit to altruism.

You've argued that RSR reaches too few. I find it hits many of the
right spots. Naturally we communicate by other means as well, & no one
who needs to know & ought to have done better does not know exactly what
is being said & why.

Yes, I will again encourage you & others to do whatever you think works
best, but I'm not telling you what to do. I do note your comments but,
since I have conducted successful campaigns in other fields, I'd hope
you might trust me to know what I'm about. As a hint: the most obvious
& user-friendly methods rarely succeed.

I care only about getting the right result. Then we can all go our
separate ways. Carping about style never won races. Pulling hard works
wonders.

Something has been, & more will be, achieved by all this. The High Court
was not fooling when it ordered a new inquest, upon which much obviously
depends. But matters are unlikely to end abruptly with the verdict &
there exists the possibility of far-reaching & irrevocable consequences.

Cheers -
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



27 Sep 2005 08:53:11
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


Carl Douglas wrote:
> anton2468@aol.com writes
> >
> <Snip>
> >
> >I honestly hope that this further inquest sees the type of ruling that
> >has the effect that you and Stephen wish for. I am not convinced it
> >will to an extent that will shake foundations at the ARA. Once this
> >inquest is finished, the impact of the Leo arguement declines and I
> >feel an opportunity was lost to leverage off this with the people who
> >really need to be addressed which is rank and file rowers.
> >
> >And I know I will get a lengthy reply suggesting that I do something
> >and how hard everyone has been working etc. etc. But sometimes even you
> >need to step back and look at the big picture.
> >
> That's OK, Anton. I have a broad back ;^)
>
> I actually think we're hitting the right buttons. Rowing has a
> constantly changing cast &, for this & many other reasons, I don't think
> rowing safety can be implemented half as well from the bottom up as from
> the top down. Trying from the edge to educate rowers en masse about
> safety, in an environment with historically low/flippant regard for
> safety, merely invites scorn (a plentiful commodity) in return for
> gargantuan effort. Having tried that, we find the cost too high. There
> is a limit to altruism.
>
> You've argued that RSR reaches too few. I find it hits many of the
> right spots. Naturally we communicate by other means as well, & no one
> who needs to know & ought to have done better does not know exactly what
> is being said & why.
>
> Yes, I will again encourage you & others to do whatever you think works
> best, but I'm not telling you what to do. I do note your comments but,
> since I have conducted successful campaigns in other fields, I'd hope
> you might trust me to know what I'm about. As a hint: the most obvious
> & user-friendly methods rarely succeed.
>
> I care only about getting the right result. Then we can all go our
> separate ways. Carping about style never won races. Pulling hard works
> wonders.
>
> Something has been, & more will be, achieved by all this. The High Court
> was not fooling when it ordered a new inquest, upon which much obviously
> depends. But matters are unlikely to end abruptly with the verdict &
> there exists the possibility of far-reaching & irrevocable consequences.
>
> Cheers -
> Carl
> --
> Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
> Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
> Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
> Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
> URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)


Sure but I will maintain my view that in the light of two deaths of
individuals who are replicated in profile across the country/world, the
issue of buoyancy is of an exceptionally low profile in the rank and
file.

Mothers at Nat Schools will not treat you with scorn if they think
little Johnny is in a death trap 3 days a week on the Tideway. But
where will they learn about this? That in my view is your legion of
deputy's

Matters will not end abruptly no, but the weight of your arguement will
be significantly lightened if the ruling doesn't really spank someone.



27 Sep 2005 17:12:38
Neil Wallace
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:
(snip)
> Sure but I will maintain my view that in the light of two deaths of
> individuals who are replicated in profile across the country/world,
> the issue of buoyancy is of an exceptionally low profile in the rank
> and file.


one of those deaths was unrelated to buoyancy.
as was the recent tragedy in Canada.

what pisses me off is the way the campaign has gone from

"let's attempt to get all new boats made buoyant... nothing to lose in doing
so, and much to gain in that a few lives will be saved"

to

"let's stick it to the ARA".

I can see why this has happened, but it has done absolutely no-one any
favours AFAICS.





27 Sep 2005 18:52:47
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com writes
>
>Carl Douglas wrote:

<Snip >
>>
>> Something has been, & more will be, achieved by all this. The High Court
>> was not fooling when it ordered a new inquest, upon which much obviously
>> depends. But matters are unlikely to end abruptly with the verdict &
>> there exists the possibility of far-reaching & irrevocable consequences.
>>
>
>
>Sure but I will maintain my view that in the light of two deaths of
>individuals who are replicated in profile across the country/world, the
>issue of buoyancy is of an exceptionally low profile in the rank and
>file.
>
>Mothers at Nat Schools will not treat you with scorn if they think
>little Johnny is in a death trap 3 days a week on the Tideway. But
>where will they learn about this? That in my view is your legion of
>deputy's

Most head teachers &/or chief coaches have long since been made aware by
the Leo Blockley Campaign of the situation & their consequent
liabilities. Mothers tend to believe that the school has it all under
control. We hope that the schools do. But many schools look on the ARA
as the final arbiter & I'm sure you don't want me to rehearse that bit
yet again. So how do you break that spell without creating more ill
will & thereby doing more harm than good?

>
>Matters will not end abruptly no, but the weight of your arguement will
>be significantly lightened if the ruling doesn't really spank someone.
>

I've no fondness for retribution. Far better we all act sensibly in the
first place, or after the event we see how the land lies & make the
necessary changes promptly. Hence my regret that this has had to be
dragged on so long, so expensively & so messily.

The new inquest is because (see http://tinyurl.com/akedt):
"In an extraordinary application, South Manchester coroner
John Pollard asked two senior judges to direct that a fresh
inquest be held because "credible evidence" relating to
safety issues at the time of 21-year-old Leo Blockley's
death had come to light."
That evidence did not just fall into Mr. Pollard's lap.

The Coroner's job is not to convict or accuse. It is to discover, inter
alia, the direct & underlying causes of the fatality. This may show him
that lessons must be learned, in which case his resulting application of
Rule 43 of the Coroners Act can have far-reaching consequences.

HTH
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



27 Sep 2005 22:37:12
Carl Douglas
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

In message <3pt9b8FbiabdU1@individual.net >, Neil Wallace
<rowing.golfer*NOSPAM*@virgin.net > writes
>anton2468@aol.com wrote:
>(snip)
>> Sure but I will maintain my view that in the light of two deaths of
>> individuals who are replicated in profile across the country/world,
>> the issue of buoyancy is of an exceptionally low profile in the rank
>> and file.
>
>
>one of those deaths was unrelated to buoyancy.
>as was the recent tragedy in Canada.

Correct, but irrelevant.

Have we already forgotten the recent swamping death on the Rhine? How
many reminders do we need?

>
>what pisses me off is the way the campaign has gone from
>
>"let's attempt to get all new boats made buoyant... nothing to lose in doing
>so, and much to gain in that a few lives will be saved"
>
>to
>
>"let's stick it to the ARA".
>
>I can see why this has happened, but it has done absolutely no-one any
>favours AFAICS.
>

Neil -

Recently you converted your club's eight (with a record of swamping &
sinking) to full buoyancy. Why? Because you'd learned, from this
campaign, of the unambiguous benefits of shell buoyancy & the dangers of
its absence.

Under its own Water Safety Code the ARA was bound to implement remedial
measures within 6 months of the demonstration of a fatal hazard to
rowers. It failed to do so. It refused to listen, discuss or heed
advice. Instead it attacked us, without the slightest justification.
When pressed, it deceived its council, its members & the Minister for
Sport, both about the buoyancy issue in general & about the Leo Blockley
Campaign in particular.

What should one then do? Keep on asking nicely? Do you really think
such people will then do the decent thing? You really must be joking.
Or should we have quietly accepted defeat?

To have quit then might have saved delicate sensibilities, but it would
have entrenched those who defaulted on their duty, leaving others to
fight on another day, after another such tragedy. It would have been a
gutless capitulation.

So, not being quitters, we took the only remaining course. Doors having
been irrevocably slammed on us, we had then to dig for all relevant
evidence, however nasty, & expose it. And we had to keep the issue
alive & public. But the focus has _not_ changed. It is still about
there being an established requirement for shell buoyancy with defined &
testable performance standard.

Obviously that is not a pretty thing to have to do, so some sensitive
souls wish it would all cease. Yet it was only because just a few were
not prepared to be told to quit by bystanders that we stand where we do.
Had the ARA done its safety duty, none of this would have been
necessary. When it does so, despite the past we can set campaigning
aside. But not before.

We don't have access to Alastair Campbell, nor would we use him if we
did. So it comes across a touch rough. Better that than more
drownings, IMO.

Cheers -
Carl

PS I've just heard that a truly decent guy has been told by Sophie
Mackley (ARA's PR) that he has been made persona non grata by the ARA.
Why? Because he did the photos for the Rowing News feature article on
Leo Blockley.

Speaks volumes, doesn't it?
C
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
Email: carl@carldouglas.co.uk Tel: +44(0)1784-456344 Fax: -466550
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)



28 Sep 2005 06:41:00
Nick Suess
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?


"Carl Douglas" <Carl@carldouglas.co.uk > wrote in message
news:YfY0HBCvW+NDFw8S@rowing-cdrs.demon.co.uk...
> >
> > I even posted a notice in the shed warning of the dangers of the foot
> >restraints in this boat. It was immediately removed on the grounds that
> >"we don't want to alarm anyone" !!
> >
>
> <Snip>
>
> Mike - I don't know where in Oz you are, but you might like to compare
> notes on this with Nick Suess in Perth. He has much common ground he
> may care to share with you.
>

Looks like Mike is in NSW, so we are near neighbours (!)

So it's better to drown a few folk rather than alarm anyone!

Yes, there is indeed a lot of common ground, but I won't discuss it via this
public forum.

I'll be glad to receive any direct communication from Mike




27 Sep 2005 23:37:36
Neil Wallace
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

Carl Douglas wrote:
> Neil -
>
> Recently you converted your club's eight (with a record of swamping &
> sinking) to full buoyancy. Why? Because you'd learned, from this
> campaign, of the unambiguous benefits of shell buoyancy & the dangers
> of its absence.

What you say is true Carl.

We have also (over the last 2 years) bought 2 fours from Sims which have
underseat compartments.

So you know my position on Buoyancy, that of my club, and indeed that of the
Scottish Amateur Rowing Association. I can't speak for either of those
institutions, but I can say that your postings on this newsgroup have been
what have led me to my enlightenment on the issue.

I think your vision and that of the Blockleys for improved and regulated
safety in our sport is the only way forward, and, for what it is worth, if
only half of what you say about the ARA is true, then I am appauled.

But I find the persistant confrontational style of debate distasteful.
That's the simple point I am trying to make.
Like I said in my 1st post, I can see how we have got to this point, but it
is highly regrettable.

To my mind there is only one possible outcome to all this - the following
three things are certain to happen.

1.Shells will be build to a standard similar to the one you lay out on the
campaign website. Many older craft will be modified in the way that we did
ours.
2.Carl Douglas Racing Shells will continue to be some of the nicest looking,
best performing, most beautifully built crafts on the water.
3. The Amateur Rowing Association will continue to oversee our wonderful
sport in England.


and that is what we all want... isn't it?








02 Oct 2005 12:32:45
Jeremy Fagan
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:
>>
>
> I absolutely believe you do. I believe anyone on here who can, does. I
> do not believe a single Freshers week in the UK will say this however.
> I would wonder for instance also if the Matt Pinsent Corporate
> Challenge people were educated to the risks? Was Leo told? Was the
> Reading lad told?

And just as importantly, were the people who were responsible for safety
in these cases (i.e safety advisers and coaches) told, and told how to
coach their charges?

Jeremy


02 Oct 2005 12:43:24
Jeremy Fagan
Re: Is rowing fundamentally dangerous?

anton2468@aol.com wrote:

>
> And statistical information is needed for people to make the correct
> decision. Example. Post the recent london bombings the sale of motor
> scooters, bikes and especially folding bikes rocketed. People
> considered the underground a terrorist target and unsafe. However in
> reality by moving from underground to bike they dramtically increased
> their chances of being killed/injured on their way to work. They
> however did not consider this.

You're absolutely right, but I wonder if the reason they did this was
that the risk of terrorist attack was something they couldn't control,
or manage, but the risks from riding bikes is more manageable. You don't
have to ride a motorbike like an idiot, you can ride much more sensibly
and control and reduce the risk of accidents.

There were some interesting statistics on motorbike riding that I saw a
few years ago (when I was riding one). Bikers are 36 times more likely
to be killed than car drivers. But part of that is because of the
population of bikers tends to include far more risk-takers (or idiots,
as we like to call them...) A similar study of police drivers and bikers
showed that the statistics were much more level. The conclusions of that
study were that if training and risk management were similar, the
statistics showed that biking could be just as safe. (But I read that a
long time ago, so apply usual caveats).

Jeremy