2 rowing deaths

mick_allen

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Not completely pertinent to us: rowers typically are in thin, light, tight clothing and do not wear pfds [sometimes have smallish 'bouyancy aids' close or around waist - but bodies found on bottom so not used/present]

But high winds, 'freezing temps' and very cold water. Looks like everybody swam away from the boat [swimmers went in opposite directions]. But lots of overlook by waterfront homes. There's sometimes not much bouyancy with the open rowing shells so it'll be 'interesting' if that issue is followed up on.



more complete info:
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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Victoria, BC
Tragic.
Typical water temps in a shallow lake in Iowa at this time of year would be very cold - even with a PFD you wouldn't have much time to make it to shore.

The first time I tried to self-teach myself to roll was in Elk Lake (Victoria area) in February - it felt freezing. Even in a drysuit and neoprene balaclava I had 'ice cream headache' after a few minutes. I think of that when I see rowers on Elk Lake in the 'wintertime' . Usually (not always) they have a coach boat nearby.
 

mick_allen

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additional [still incomplete] info from various sources:
- shell seems an open 4 with stern cox
- 2 were beginning first timers
- no safety launch [small club]
- and as farther above, cold water, cold high winds, but small lake [ie fetch], low freeboardd [ie low gunwales espec. if wingriggers] means even tiny waves [ie their tops] running down the boat length will fill it up very fast: they do NOT need to 'capsize'
- likely not fatally impeded by lousy heel restraints [a major issue with rowing drownings] as all were separated from boat
- no pfds or bouyancy aids present

summary for shells - if no safety launch, lifejackets or similar must be present: it gives time for others to help or you stay off the bottom.
 

mick_allen

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additional info:
- dead calm at beginning, wind came up with small waves, they decided to turn back and capsized when parallel to waves.
- club president was cox in stern, no pfds, they didn't think they were seen, so all decided to swim to shore . . . however as in previous links above, many people saw and called for help.
 
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