Posted: 30 March, 2021
As many people in the rowing community will now know a tragic accident occurred last weekend when two members of the Iowa State University Crew Club sadly lost their lives following a capsize during a training outing. Our thoughts are with their families, friends, fellow students and their local community.
The incident occurred during a training outing and three of the crew were rescued from the water with rescue crews later recovering the bodies of the two missing students. The lake on which they were rowing is used regularly and is relatively small measuring 1.5Km and 1.0Km at its widest points. A full investigation into the causes is underway and at this stage little detail is known beyond the fact that wind and water conditions were less than favourable. The lake itself had been frozen until 3 weeks previously and of note is the fact that at least two of the crew had swum away from the boat.
As we plan for increased rowing activity in Scotland it is worth being mindful that many members of the Scottish Rowing community may not have been out on the water for some time, especially in crew boats. Water temperatures remain cold and this incident serves to remind us all that we must pay heed to the risks associated with our sport and give due consideration to aspects including:
- Consideration of weather and surface conditions, including air and water temperatures
- The effects of cold-water shock/hypothermia
- Wearing appropriate clothing for the conditions
- Knowledge of capsize drills including staying with the boat
- Crew competency/experience
- Deployment of safety boats
- Use of flotation devices
Please ensure we have a safe return to rowing.