The city police on Wednesday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) that rowing clubs in the Rabindra Sarobar complex will have to comply with to resume the aquatic sport.
The police had earlier sent a draft SOP and held a discussion with the clubs.
In the final SOP, the clubs have been asked to keep an ambulance at a strategic location and a high-speed rescue boat during regatta as well as practice sessions.
Two teenage rowers drowned during a practice session at the Sarobar on May 21. Allegations had surfaced that the rescue boat was pressed into service too late.
The clubs said it would take two to three weeks to implement the measures. Till then, rowing is not allowed at Rabindra Sarobar. The Telegraph highlights some of the points from the SOP.
Cox and rowers
- The cox should be trained in aquatic survival
- The trainees/rowers should be allowed to practise only if they have a swim-and-survive certificate
- The clubs should subject trainees to a basic competence test even if they have swim-and-survive certificates
- The trainees/rowers must be able to tread water, swim under water, stay under water and retrieve an object from adequate depth as deemed fit
Boat capsize drill
- Trainees/rowers must undergo periodic capsize drill
- A capsize drill participation certificate must be issued
- The names of trainees/ rowers who have participated in the drill will be maintained in a register, along with the date and time of the event
- The register should note the name of the person under whose supervision the drill was conducted
- High-speed rescue boats must be present during regatta and practice sessions, as well as any other water sports
The rescue boats should have
- Ten personal floatation devices
- Throwable rescue device such as life buoy, rescue tube, rescue can, 20ftX1/4th inch rope lifeline, shepherds hook or a 12ft crane stick
- A whistle or an air horn to alert
- An anchor with anchor line attached to the rescue boat
- At least one oar or paddle
- Battery-operated lights, first-aid kit, flashlight, radio or cell phone
- Each rescue boat crew should have at least one certified open water lifeguard
- Checking weather conditions before sending rowers/trainees into the water should be part of the mandatory drill
- A display board in an appropriate location must display the weather forecast so that all can see it.
An ambulance must be present in a strategic location during practice sessions and regatta. It should be equipped to provide instant medical help
Meeting with parents
- The rowing club authorities should meet parents regularly to hear their suggestions and grievances
- The clubs should implement the suggestions related to safety and security
- The meetings should be documented
Vital phone numbers
Phone numbers of local police stations, nearest ambulance services, Lalbazar control room, disaster management group and Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority must be displayed at rowing bays
Other safety measures
- Back-up rescue teams of majhis and experienced rowers should be present during practice
- Periodic mock drills must be performed. A mock drill register should be maintained
- All boats used for rowing should be buoyant even if they overturn. They should have internal buoyancy
- Adequate numbers of open-water lifeguards should be present at strategic locations.