Letters

On the water and in the water

Ed,

The Clarence Coast Dragon Boat Club is back on the water, and, I should include, in the water, literally. After a brief Christmas break, we recommenced our Saturday practices, none of the members wishing to lose the fitness we had gained through hard work during 2017.

On Saturday 20th January, our crew was warming down after a hard one hour training session in Yamba Bay from 8am ‘til 9am, when a boat containing a man, woman and small child, roared past us in the 4 knot limit area, and capsized our dragon boat. Looking on the bright side, our full crew of 22 members responded immediately to the capsize procedures we had learned, and was able to get the boat upright and by use of a ‘stirrup’ get all crew members back in the boat and back to the shore. On the not-so-bright side, there were new members on board for whom this was a unique experience and a number of people sustained minor injuries as the boat overturned.
Fortunately, a capsize is infrequent. What is frequent, however, is the number of boats in Yamba who ignore the 4 knot sign, and behave as if they are in a race to get out to sea. As they speed past us, they give us a cheery wave, obviously not realising that we have to contend with their boat’s wake.
It is important that all users of Yamba Bay respect the regulations and the conditions. We paddle on Wednesday afternoons at 4pm and Saturday mornings at 8am from the Yamba Bay Boat Ramp. We are courteous towards those who share the ramp with us and we take our turn. Unfortunately, during the holiday periods, we find that there are those people who are unaware of or appear to have no idea of marine rights and responsibilities.
However, dragon boat paddling is, of course, a water sport. You get wet! If you would like to come and try, we meet at Yamba Bay boat ramp (next to Moby Dick) on Wednesday afternoons at 3.30pm (boat on the water at 4pm) and Saturday mornings at 7.30am (boat on the water at 8am).
For further information, please contact President Gail Strickland on 6646 0234 or visit our website www.clarencecoastdbclub.com.au/

Laura K O’Brien –
Clarence Coast Dragon Boat Club

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