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Swimmers in the middle of the Rideau River

August 13, 2008 @ 01:07 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

I’ve been steering a dragonboat on the Rideau River almost every week since the end of April.  We depart from the Rideau Canoe Club at Hog’s Back for an hour long practice, heading upstream.  Sometimes we make it as far as the railway bridge a couple of kilometres upstream, but usually we stay in Mooney’s Bay and just around the corner upstream.

More often than not over the last couple of months there have been people swimming in the middle of the river near the Mooney’s Bay Beach.  Having gone scuba diving there, I can understand why they might not want to swim in the swimming area, but they really shouldn’t be out in the middle of the river.  They are very hard to see and look very much like the marker buoys delineating the race course.  A couple of times I almost turned around them instead of a real marker.

But the real problem is that in addition to dragonboats, canoes and kayaks, there are often motor boats zipping along the river well in excess of the 10 km/h speed limit that exists on that part of the river.  Unless the boaters are paying attention, they might run the swimmers over and possibly not even realize it.

So, on the off-chance that one of these swimmers is reading this, please think twice the next time you venture outside the swimming area.  Or if you insist on swimming in the middle of the channel, could you drag a float with a marker flag on it behind you so you’re a little more visible.

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  1. gordon.dewis.ca | Argh! The swimmers are back! (August 12, 2009 @ 00:14)

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