From Harrison Festival and Mid Island Masters:
Things that we have learned since our dragonboat team flipped over (huli’d) during a race at Harrison this Saturday:
~ Your PFD needs to be on TIGHT! Many of us had them floating up by our ears, they are there to save you! Wear them properly!
~ If your boat does flip, once you are able to, prop your head up by leaning back on your PFD. Try to stay as calm as possible, regulate your breathing and keep moving your body, kick your feet, move your arms and stay with the boat.
~ Know who your seat partner is and try your best to locate them once you are able to. Your strokes should be looking for the caller and seat 10 should look for your Steersperson.
~ If you cant swim, please let your seat partner know! Most of us will assume you can swim, so please speak up! Same with any medical concerns, let someone on your team know.
~ If you end up underneath the boat, put your arm up or bang the top of the boat so your teammates know where you are. You can pull yourself out from under once it’s safe to do so. You can also blow your whistle to alert your team as to your location.
~ If you are at a regatta do not count on the organizers or rescue crew to know what to do. Educate yourself and your fellow teammates in what to do in case of an emergency.
~ Dont worry about any paddles or equipment you may have had with you, this stuff floats and is replaceable, where as your team mates are not. Let the gear float away and focus on everyone’s safety including your own.
~ Always have a change of clothes with you! This includes pants and shirts. You simply cannot stay in wet clothes after being in frigid water for the length of time we were left in it.
~ Communicate with your teammates. If you don’t feel ok, please goto the first aid tent or call 911 and get yourself checked out. Many of us had residual physical effects much later on after the “huli event” was over.
~ Someone should have a list of your teammates and ensuring everyone is accounted for and out of the water.
Lastly, we cant say enough thank you’s to our fellow paddlers who came to our aid, with blankets, food, change of clothes, hugs and good cheer. This is forever etched in our memories and we are forever grateful for each and every one of you!!#flcc #fortlangleycanoeclub #womenonwater #dragonboatbc #harrisondragonboat #dragonboatsafety #paddlelife #dragonboating
Our team will be providing feedback to the event organizers from Harrison along with FLCC & Dragonboat BC to share our learnings so everyone can be better equipped if it ever happens again.
Stay safe everyone! You never know what can happen!
Love to all 🥰