If you can’t swim 50 metres fully clothed you will have to wear a personal floatation device. Dragon boating uses the buddy system keep the crew safe in the unlikely event of a capsize. Before starting to paddle the sweep will ask the crew to number off from the front of the boat. Each crew member is paired with person sitting next to them, and is responsible for ensuring that they are accounted for and safe in the event of a capsize. The sweep is responsible for the stability of the boat. At times the sweep will instruct the crew to place the blades of their paddles flat on the water to stabilise the boat, such as when a power boat wake is approaching or the when crew is changing sides.
Capsize Drill - video
AusDBF - All clubs are requested to ensure that every paddler attending Aus Champs views this YouTube video of a capsize drill.
We recommend that all paddlers watch this video. All paddlers, especially those new to dragon boating, should be aware of what to do in the event of a capsize.
DRAGON BOAT SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
The safety requirements for dragon boats required by Maritime NSW are specified in Marine Safety (General) Regulation 2009 as follows:-
A dragon boat is not required to carry the usual safety equipment specified recreational vessels operating on enclosed waters if:
(a) each person on board has undergone a safety drill in respect of possible emergencies arising on the vessel, and
(b) the vessel is displaying appropriate lights when operating between sunset and sunrise, and
(c) the vessel is operating not more than 400 metres from the nearest shore, and
(d) the vessel is built so as to float if swamped or capsized, and
(e) the vessel is returned to shore or a safe haven if the weather or water conditions become, or are predicted to become, unsuitable for boating, and
(f) the vessel is not rowed in the middle of a channel and is rowed on the starboard side (bow side) of the channel, and
(g) the vessel is carrying the following equipment:
(i) at least 1 bucket (bailer) with a lanyard attached,
(iii) a rope of at least 25 metres in length and 12 millimetres in diameter of the type known as “silver rope”, securely attached to the dragon boat for towing,
(iv) flares or a mobile telephone (in a water tight container) when the vessel is operating between sunset and sunrise.
This is a timely reminder to all clubs about the responsibility club committees have in being aware of the health and well-being of your members. DBNSW last month uploaded a fantastic fact sheet on exercise pre-screening produced by Sports Medicine Australia. DBNSW encourages all your committees to have a read of the information. As a club, it's important to ensure that all members and prospective members are appropriately screened and encouraged to get medically cleared for rigorous exercise such as dragon boating, and it all starts with a conversation! DBNSW recommend that clubs inform members and prospective club members of the possible consequences of vigorous activity and exercise - e.g. sudden cardiac arrest. Clubs can recommend paddlers to review the basic risk factors and advise those who are in the risk categories: to obtain a more detailed exercise screen (the ESSA ? Exercise and Sports Science Australia Screen) , up to Stage One (ie the questionnaire). This can be then be followed by a voluntary progress to stages two and three with your friendly exercise physiologist, or more likely your GP. Clubs can then ask participants to sign off as usual that they consider themselves fit to paddle taking into account the answers gained from the screen. DBNSW cannot reiterate strongly enough that safety of members is a serious matter and we encourage you to review these fact sheets and make this topic an agenda item at your next committee meeting. More information and support is available to clubs at Sports Medicine Australia http://sma.org.au/ Below is the link to the fact sheet on the DBNSW website. http://www.dbnsw.org.au/images/documents/forms_policies/2012_13/Exercise_and_Sports_Science_Australia_Screen.pdf