Water Safety Awareness Workshop

The unforeseen dragonboat incident has definitely captured everyone's attention when it comes to the precautions, awareness or measures taken to ensure one's safety when participating in water sports.

I guess everyone has the perception that 'If it ain't broken, don't fix it?'

Last Sunday, the club attended Water Safety Awareness Workshop organized by PENANG INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL (PIDBF) in Holiday Inn Resort and Teluk Bahang Dam.

The workshop started with theory session in the morning by invited speakers in Holiday Inn.

Attendance and signing the form stating "We're fit and competent enough in the sea" which I beg to differ, at least for my case :p

Almost a full attendance from everyone in the club, kudos!

First speaker of the session, an ex rower who has been in the field for 30 years

We were briefed on the responsibilities of each team member, captain, steerman etc as well as some basic knowledge on the weather conditions, safety rules and what we should do in case of emergency.

And this was how 'excited' some people got throughout the session

Hmm.. they must have been too overwhelmed by the lecture.

First morning break at 10.30, a good time to refresh

One of the members engaged in conversation with the second speaker of the day.

Our second invited speaker is an experience lifeguard

Ok he didn't exactly said that :p

He's a better speaker compared to the first one as in he tried to bond with the audience.

Like asking us all to stand up

and do a bit of stretching, waving, jumping to freshen ourselves up

I have to say it did get everyone in a better mood and maybe pushed some to be in touch with their creative side.

After the second theory session, there was a souvenir presentation to the speakers and sponsors by YB Danny Law

We broke for lunch at the hotel and the practical session continued at 2pm in Teluk Bahang dam.

Waiting under the tent

There were a few demonstrations from the rescue team on swimming to safety, CPR as well as how the rescue team responds to emergency.

Then it was time to register the team to participate in the practical session

Each team will have to go through a training where a real accident scenario will be reenacted, like a sinking or a capsized boat. It did sound scary really! But I guess it's good to prepare the rowers of what to expect in worst case scenarios.

Team DBKL volunteered to go first.

Rowing out

Sinking boat... not as scary as capsized boat.

Our team will be reenacting the capsized boat scenario together with another boat.

Standing in line, each rower is numbered and everyone will have to remember their partner. This is important to make sure the safety of all rowers in the boat.

Down there, the rescue teams getting ready to jump into action when capsize begins

The emcee telling us WHERE we should capsize our own boat. Yes, the steerman will have to steer the boat in a way and then try to capsize the boat. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE ABILITY OF A GOOD STEERMAN.

The team walking to the boat.

Is it me or everyone looked a little clumsy trying to get into the boat? Nervous perhaps?

Rowing out, everyone looking excited!

5 mins later....

Everyone got thrown out into the water.

Capsizing sideways is better than this way @_@ (fully overturned boat)

According to the victims, the experience was so fun no one actually wanted to get rescued @_@

Well someone... or some people will have to be 'rescued' first right?

Waiting for the others to arrive

Meanwhile, the audience received a shock when a victim was being carried up in a stretcher

all the way to the ambulance

It was all an act. No lives was sacrificed in this procedure.

The rest of the team made it back safely.

This has got to be one of the best way to be rescued :p

It was indeed a great experience for the team, although we pray and hope this will never happen under other circumstances but then again, it's never too late to 'Prepare for the worst and hope for the best' :)

Last program of the day, certificate presentation by YB Danny Law to all participants

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