Safety Boat Exercise for a dragon boat swamping: An interesting (enjoyable!) dip in Windermere.
Paddlers took advantage of warm 19°C water in Windermere to experience what it might be like if the dragon boat was swamped by water.
Paul briefed paddlers about what to do and what might happen!
Paddlers braced the boat with paddles and then started to bale water into the boat.
There was some nervousness about if the boat would capsize or just settle under the water.
Two safety boats were out with Harry and Rob in the Paddlers for Life safety boat and Paul in the Low Wood boat. The idea was to direct activities in order to plan safety procedures and rescue.
Through careful control the boat was swamped without a capsize.
Paddlers learned how to exit the boat, hang on to the side and re-enter. Some paddlers helped members return to the boat while others steadied the boat or baled water out. Some practiced swimming the boat towards the shore.
Eventually enough water was removed to try paddling the boat back. Some paddlers swam alongside and helped to beach the boat so other paddlers could disembark. Twenty-one paddlers returned to shore!