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General Information for Racing/Symposium/Expedition -- Safety Policy
Racing -- Safety Policy
Coastal Sea Kayaking Symposium --Safety Policy
Expedition Crossing of Death's Door --Safety Policy

Pilot Boat --Safety Policy
Leaders, Instructors, Directors and Committees -- Safety Policy, Notes and Briefing Outline for Race/Symposium/Expedition
Contact Officer In Charge


 

Safety Policy and Rules

Racing/Symposium/Expedition

Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

 

This policy is subject to change. Prior to event, continue to check web site postings to ensure that you and your craft will qualify. At the event, make sure to check-in paddlers and boats prior to the start-time of the event you have registered for.

 

The Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event reserves the right to refuse to register any individual or boat. It may also disqualify or refuse any participant or boat before or during the event for lack of required equipment, unsafe operation, disregard for event rules, or unsporting behavior. Officials and/or support vessel captains have the right to evaluate and disqualify any participant who appears severely fatigued, injured or otherwise unable to safely complete an activity. Marathon race competitors must be last least 18 years of age to compete in the Marathon at date of event.

 

Event activities are weather dependent. In the event of weather that threatens a safe event, alternate routes, courses and activities will be announced. A weather decision made by event organizers and directors is final.

 

More detailed information about each of the events (race, symposium,expedition) is found on the specific event web page for each event, on the registration page and in registration packets.

 

Portions of the Safety Policy and Plan ideas and language are shared by South Rowers and the Chicago Shoreline Marathon and used with permission. Thank you!

 

 

RACING

Safety Policy

Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

 

The most important safety consideration lies with the participants themselves. Sound judgment is the most important single factor in water safety including knowledge of one's skills, state of physical condition and water conditions.

 

. Race boat specifications and classifications are listed on the registration page.

 

. A USCG-approved PFD is to be worn by all participants on-water. There is one exception only. Paddlers racing ocean kayaks (surfskis) may carry a USCG-approved PFD if there is a secure line from boat to competitor (ankle leash).

 

. Every participate must wear an attention-getting noisemaker, such as a whistle on a lanyard.

 

. At all races, these steps will be followed:

. Safety considerations will be made clear at the pre-race briefing for marathon, beginner and intermediate races.

. All paddlers will be spot-checked boats before the start of any and all events to ensure that each participant is meeting PFD flotation requirements

. All participating boats must have positive flotation. All boats will be spot-checked.

. Boats and paddlers not properly fitted with be disqualified from any or all events.

 

. Racers must attest that they have the skills and conditioning to complete the course safely in the weather conditions of the day, and that they are capable of self-righting their boat or climbing onto board for SUP in the event of capsize this usually means carrying a paddle float and bilge pump for kayakers.

 

. All racers must be in good health and in proper physical condition to participate in the activities they have chosen and are registered for.

 

. All racers must be prepared to be fully independent and self-sufficient for the entire course of the race. Pilot boats are instructed to allow competitors who experience problems to make an attempt at a self rescue.

 

. Procedure for a race participant to signal to a safety boat or another participant that they need assistance is as follows:

 

  1. All race participants and safety boat operators will be told the proper signal procedures at the pre-race briefing.
  2. Recommended signal procedure:

a. Wave hand or paddle overhead

b. Three blasts on a whistle

c. Signal flare or smoke flare.

 

Each of these signal procedures mean I need Help Do not use them if you do not need assistance. Do not ignore them if you see someone use them.

 

. A racer shall not pass a capsized or endangered racer, but shall render assistance unto the capsized/endangered racer has re-entered his/her boat or a support boat, so long as rendering assistance does not also endanger the supporting racer. Subsequent racers may pass only after checking with the assisting racer. This protocol is not to be considered overridden because the endangered racer has said he/she is OK; he/she must also have re-entered his/her boat or the safety boat. Failure to comply will result in disqualification. The race director will make a reasonable effort to adjust for lost time on the part of the assisting racer.

 

. Race participants and members are encouraged to support safe races by pointing out non-compliance with safety protocols.

 

. Each race is preceded by a pre-race meeting in which the race director explains the race course and race procedures, and presents the race safety plan, outlining safety rules and pointing out course-specific concerns and hazards.

 

. Races will be started as a mass start. All boat classifications race together. Exceptions to made at the discretion of the race director and announced at the race briefing prior to race.

 

. Race directors have the option in the marathon race of allowing slower boats to start 30 minutes or more ahead of the regular start. This is to minimize the burden on race volunteers, including timers and safety boat crews.

 

. The marathon race will end by 1:00 p.m. Any craft in the water after 1:00 p.m. will not be affiliated with the marathon race.

 

. Drafting is permitted and encouraged.

 

. For reasons of safety only, the Race Director may encourage and allow a racer or group of racers to start the race early. Such an early start will be kept on a separate clock, and will be considered to be an official time. An early start for any other reason will be considered as :unofficial race result and be treated as indicated above.

 

, Remember to bring fluids or food you plan to consume during the event. Water will be available at official check-points start and finish line. For the Marathon race, water will be available at the Washington Harbor check-in point.

 

. Post race snacks will be provided for all race participants.

 

. Participants may find need, provide and use a bailer, compass, signaling mirror, GPS and chart of the area.

 

. Race results are posted as soon as possible at the race venue. They include as a minimum, the name of the racer, place overall, place in his class and time. Results will be published on the event web site.

 

. The race director reserves the right to change and/or modify the course of any and all races or cancel the race if weather prohibits or threatens the running and management of a safe race. The decision to cancel a race is final. Refund policy is stated on the registration page.

 

 

Coastal Sea Kayaking Symposium

Safety Policy

Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

The most important safety consideration lies with the participants themselves. Sound judgment is the most important single factor in water safety including knowledge of one's skills, state of physical condition and water conditions.

 

. A USCG-approved PFD is to be worn by all participants on-water.

 

. Every participate must wear an attention-getting noisemaker, such as a whistle on a lanyard.

 

. During the Coastal Sea Kayaking Workshop, these steps will be followed:

. Safety considerations will be made clear before going on-water and will be a portion of the on-going instruction throughout the workshop.

. All paddlers will be spot-checked boats before the start of any and all on-water activities to ensure that each participant is meeting PFD flotation requirements

. All participating boats must have positive flotation. All boats will be spot-checked.

. Boats and paddlers not properly fitted with not be allowed to launch.

 

. Procedure for a workshop participant to signal to an instructor or another participant that they need assistance is as follows:

  1. Recommended signal procedure:

a. Wave hand or paddle overhead

b. Three blasts on a whistle

c. Signal flare or smoke flare.

 

Each of these signal procedures mean I need Help Do not use them if you do not need assistance. Do not ignore them if you see someone use them.

 

. A paddler shall not pass a capsized or endangered paddler, but shall render assistance unto the capsized/endangered paddler until the paddler has re-entered his/her boat or a support boat, so long as rendering assistance does not also endanger the supporting paddler.

 

. Workshop participants must be in good health and in the proper physical condition to participate in the activity they have chosen and registered for.

 

. During the workshop, participates will be working on the skills necessary to become capable of self rescue in the event of capsize this usually means carrying a paddle float and bilge pump for kayakers and means the kayaker will get wet. The participant is advised that the water temperature can be below 60 degrees. The participant is required to wear a wet or dry suit for safety during on-water instruction. .

 

. Coastal Sea Kayaking participants are encouraged to support safe races by pointing out non-compliance with safety protocols.

 

. Each on-water component of the coastal sea kayaking workshop is preceded by instruction which includes the on-water safety plan, outlining safety rules and pointing out concerns and hazards.

 

. The Coastal Sea Kayaking workshop director reserves the right to change and/or modify the activities of the workshops if weather prohibits or threatens the running and management of any and/or all workshops. The decision to cancel a workshop is final. Refund policy is stated on the registration page.

 

 

Expedition Crossing of Death's Door

Safety Policy

Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

The most important safety consideration lies with the participants themselves. Sound judgment is the most important single factor in water safety including knowledge of one's skills, state of physical condition and water conditions.

 

. Boat requirements for the expedition crossing of Death's Door include boast over 15 foot in length with fixed bulkheads or commercial applied fixed flotation, bow and stern, water tight hatch covers.

 

. A Class III USCG-approved PFD is to be worn by all participants on-water.

 

. Every participate must wear an audible, attention-getting noisemaker, such as a whistle on a lanyard.

 

. Each boat must have a functional spray skirt that fits the boat.

 

. Each boat must carry a paddle float and bilge pump.

 

. Each boat must carry a tow rope.

 

. A wet suit or dry suit is strongly recommended.

 

. All paddlers will be required to show boat and equipment and recount experience and/or demonstrate skills that qualify them to join the expedition crossing. Times and location for boat, gear and paddler qualification will be announced. The decision of the expedition leader to disqualify a boat or paddler from the expedition crossing Death's Door will be final. The Registration fee will not be refunded if a paddler and/or boat is disqualified.

 

. Safety considerations and requirements for crossing will be made clear before going on-water..

 

. All paddlers and boats will be spot-checked boats before launch to ensure that each participants meet PFD flotation requirements

 

. All participating boats must have positive flotation. All boats will be spot-checked.

 

. Boats and paddlers not properly fitted with not be allowed to launch.

 

. Procedure for expedition participants to signal to a guide, pilot boat or another participant that they need assistance is as follows:

  1. Recommended signal procedure:

a. Wave hand or paddle overhead

b. Three blasts on a whistle

      c. Signal flare or smoke flare.

 

Each of these signal procedures mean I need Help Do not use them if you do not need assistance. Do not ignore them if you see someone use them.

 

. A paddler shall not pass a capsized or endangered paddler, but shall render assistance unto the capsized/endangered paddler until the paddler has re-entered his/her boat or a support boat, so long as rendering assistance does not also endanger the supporting paddler.

 

. Expedition participants must be in good health and in the proper physical condition to participate in the activity they have chosen and registered for.

 

. During the expedition the kayaker may get wet. Participants are advised that the water temperature can be below 60 degrees. It is strongly recommended that the participant wear a wet or dry suit for safety during the expedition crossing.

 

. Expedition participants are encouraged to support safe races by pointing out non-compliance with safety protocols.

 

. Before launch, expedition participants will receive instruction which includes the on-water safety plan, outlining safety rules and pointing out concerns and hazards. If a participant does not attend the pre-launch briefing, the participate will not be allowed to join the expedition crossing Death's Door.

 

. The expedition crossing of Death's Door leaders reserve the right to change, modify or cancel the expedition course if weather prohibits or threatens the running and management of the expedition crossing. The decision to cancel or postpone the crossing is final. Refund policy is stated on the registration page.

 

 

PILOT BOAT

Safety Policy

Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

Pilot boats will be present during the marathon race and

expedition crossing of Death's Door

  1. Safety boats should meet WI State and Coast Guard safety requirements for vessels of their length. PFDs, fire extinguishers, noise makers, etc.
  2. When possible, safety boats should be crewed by at last two people, one to drive and the other to spot.
  3. Safety boast should have VHF and cell phone contact with race control on the beach at race start/finish. As some of our races including circumnavigating islands, VHF radios often do not work.
  4. Safety boat operators should know the course and approximate time of the fastest and slowest competitors.
  5. When shadowing a group of racers, safety boats should vary their direction of travel and speed so as not to impede racers with wakes.
  6. Safety boats should be prepared to tow or take on board any of our racing craft. They should be equipped with a 50 foot long, 3/8 diameter tow line and something shorter if they need to tie a long, skinny race boat across a cockpit or rear deck if necessary.
  7. Safety boats should have a plan to get a person, maybe fatigued and hypothermic out of the water. This could be a swim platform on a large boat to a rope or webbing climbing ladder.
  8. Safety boats should have warming devices on board. Can be a space blanket or a wool blanket.
  9. Safety boast should have a First Aid kit on board to treat sunburn, any cuts or abrasions, etc.
  10. Safety boats should have a GPS to exactly pinpoint a pickup location for emergency personnel.
  11. Safety boats should not leave the race site until all participants are accounted for.
  12. Safety boats should be aware of hazards which can include, ferry crossings, reefs, under water obstructions, dangerous currents and tide rips and likely areas of reflected waves. These areas are where racers are most likely to get into difficult.

 

 

Leaders, Instructors, Directors and Committees

Race/Symposium/Expedition

Safety Policy Notes and Briefing Outline

Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event

 

Order of assistance for paddlers:

  1. Self-rescue
  2. Other race participants
  3. Safety boats

 

Safety boats first responsibility is safety of people. Rescue of boats is secondary. The safety boats may or may not have the ability to save a boat. Carrying a length of line for towing a shell or kayak is recommended.

 

Developing a specific safety plan for each of the event activities including race, symposium and expedition.

 

Plan for everything that can go wrong.

 

Identity hazards make a list

For those hazards that you can do something about -- Do something about them.

For those hazards you can not do something about -- Warn people about them.

 

. Create a plan to mitigate each hazard on your list.

 

Create a waterproof course map, which indicates distances and hazards.

Provide accurate weather and course conditions to all participants. Warn of conditions

Have support boats coverage at potentially hazardous sites

Ferry routes

Determine times of ferry passing

Warn participants of hazards and timing.

 

Identify and mitigate other hazards

Dehydration and fuel depletion

Capsize what to do

Inadequate conditioning

Exhaustion

 

Communication Plan

Support boats and start/finish line officials

Participants

 

Avoid legal negligence

Warn participants of hazards

Take steps that a reasonable person would do to mitigate themselves

Specific suggestions.

 

. Screen the participants for skills necessary to complete the course

. Know who has the first aid or medical training

. Know emergency phone numbers for cell phones

Sheriff

Coast Guard

911 or equivalent

 

Have and know how to use marine radio for contacting boats in the vicinity

 

Require wearing of PFDs.

 

Inspect and certify all boats for PFDs and enclosed kayaks and for Mariner self-rescue equipment (paddle float and bilge pump)

 

Engage local Sheriff harbor patrol in support (possible incorporation of an annual training exercise while supporting the race)

 

 

Contact Officer In Charge

 Chief of Police Tyler P. McGrane
Washington Island Police Department
1721 Airport Road/ P.O.B. 190
Washington Island, WI 54246
920.847.2355  or  911

fax 920.847.2315
washingtonislandpd@gmail.com
www.washingtonisland-wi.gov/

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

The US Coast Guard and the Washington Island Coast Guard Aux. Flotilla will provide crew and facilities for safety patrol and emergency response.

 

 



 


 
 
       
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