Congratulations on participating in the 2016 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim and Champions of the Channel!
So far we have received a lot of positive feedback about this year's event and we look forward to reviewing the results of the post event surveys. Feedback from participants (both the good and the constructive) is vital for the continued enhancement of the event. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!
The proportion of swimmers safely completing the crossing has long been a key measure of success for race organisers. This year, 99% of swimmers who started at Cottesloe successfully finished the event. The last three years have been 93% (2015), 99% (2014) and 95% (2013). While 99% is a great result, we will be speaking with those who didn't finish to learn why and assess whether we can help in mitigating this.
Event day saw three swimmers treated by on-water medical support and taken back to Fremantle, with none resulting in hospitalisation. Two were for hypothermia and one for sea sickness.
There were 46 swimmers who received medical support on the island. Over 75% of these were treated for hypothermia, with the majority being solo swimmers, almost all of whom were treated and discharged within a short time. One swimmer received extensive medical treatment as a result of this condition and low sodium levels. Providing education surrounding the warning signs and treatment of hypothermia will continue to be a priority for future briefings.
The RCSA will continue to have a 'soft touch' with rule breaches where safety is not compromised. Warnings will continue to be given and further action only taken where absolutely necessary. In the event of a breach that compromises the safety of swimmers, paddlers, or other boats, we will continue to have a stronger response.
It should be noted that we regard a team to include swimmers, your paddler, and your skipper. A safety breach by any can mean a penalty being applied to all.
This year there was one safety breach that led to a disqualification and further sanctioning, and one general misconduct issue that led to sanctioning.
Boat not contactable on Event Day and Misconduct: Officials were requested to assist in finding the support boat of a swimmer and paddler. The swimmer and paddler were then considered 'missing'. We spent in excess of two hours trying to make contact with the skipper, swimmers and emergency contacts via marine radio and telephone. The key rule breach is that the VHF radio was not turned on and volume up. For this breach, the team was disqualified and the skipper has been excluded from the 2017 and 2018 events. The committee did not impose further penalties on the swimmers.
When we eventually made contact with the skipper and queried why they had not responded to several radio calls on VHF 77 and 16, and telephone calls, the skipper became verbally abusive and aggressive. A second attempt to have a conversation was made and the skipper displayed the same behaviour. For this misconduct, a further three year ban was imposed, meaning that the skipper has also been excluded from the 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Our aim is to ensure all swimmers reach the island safely and that takes a lot of effort and co-operation. Thanks to everyone for contributing to the success and safety of our event!