About Me

To leave a comment username: ntudragonboat@gmail.com password: wemissyou same for photobucket.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Finally the report...

Findings on dragon boat tragedy due Friday
By Neo Chai Chin, TODAY Posted: 28 May 2008 1029 hrs

SINGAPORE: Even as the inquiry panel’s long-awaited report on last November’s Cambodia dragon boating accident is due out on Friday, many local teams are already steaming ahead with preparations for upcoming regional competitions. Some teams began planning more than two months ago. Next month, the Safra Dragons will compete in Nanning, China, while the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) team will compete in Macau. Teams from NUS, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National Junior College and other organisations will also take part in the Club Crew World Championships cum ADBF Asian Dragon Boat Championships in Penang from August 1 to 3. While some may question the wisdom of committing to overseas competitions before the release of inquiry findings on the accident in Cambodia — which killed five national paddlers — the schools told TODAY they would stick to tried-and-trusted safety procedures. NUS’ student athletes competing overseas are insured and will be accompanied by their coach and at least one team manager, said a spokesperson. A crisis management plan with “proper response procedures” is also in place, she said. The NTU team decided to race in Penang because of its confidence in the Penang Dragon Boat Association and because it has competed there since 2002, said a spokesperson. But paddlers below the age of 21 will need their parents’ permission. Dragon-boaters told TODAY the tragedy in Cambodia had not dampened their competitive spirit. “Going overseas to train and compete exposes us to a different level of competition,” said NTU student Tan Hanming, 25. Victims of the Cambodia accident were sucked under a pontoon by undercurrents. Still the fact that they were not wearing life jackets came under the spotlight at the time. Safety recommendations expected from the inquiry panel’s report include the compulsory donning of life jackets in all competitions. While vests are mandated for meets held here, this is not necessarily the case overseas — even in some events conducted to the International Dragon Boat Federation’s standards. But the schools are not taking chances. The NUS advises its paddlers to wear life jackets, while the NTU team wears them during all training sessions and competitions. The Singapore Dragon Boat Association said its affiliates should consult the association prior to any overseas races. “We will draw their attention to anything that is unusual, for example, fast currents (at the race venue) or unusual equipment required,” said its president Rear-Admiral (Ret) Kwek Siew Jin. - TODAY/fa

No comments: