Every swimmer must have a supporting paddler, this paddler may be provided by the event organiser or by the swimmer themselves (prior notification required). All paddlers should be experienced; it is preferred although not compulsory that paddlers should hold the Swim Event Safety Award (SESA) or BCU 1-2 star award. Full details of all paddlers and swimmers including their combination will be kept with event organisers.
Equip themselves according to the weather conditions and ensure their boat is in good working order.
Wear the provided numbered bright marshal bib and display the Alpha Flag at all times during the event.
Ensure a whistle, is at hand and easily accessible at all times during the event.
Wear the provided lanyard with emergency phone numbers and have a course map at hand at all times during the event.
Have a mobile phone (number to be provided to organisers pre event.) The team leader paddler will have radio contact to the land crew and rib safety.
If issued with a radio ensure it is on the correct channel (9), switched on and within its water proof cover. This will enable contact with the ribs and land based marshals.
Paddlers will be expected to work well in the relevant team(s) IE: swimmer, paddler and organiser team(s).
Communicate effectively with other paddlers enabling them to position themselves in the most convenient place in order to support their swimmer.
Be familiar with the route and emergency pickup points.
Provide for themselves a buoyancy aid, whistle, phone including water proof case, water and sufficient food for the day.
Support their swimmer by carrying his/her food and drink supplies, providing these when the swimmer requests (A good guide is every 30 – 45 minutes).
Guide their swimmer round the course, suggested lead distance 2-3m. Please take advice from your swimmer.
Ensuring both paddler and swimmer are at a safe distance from any other craft.
If their swimmer should look to be going off course the paddler shall direct them back onto the correct line.
At no time should the paddler leave their swimmer unattended.
The paddler should be aware of how to spot the common trouble/ distress signs-
Swimmers will be instructed to float on their backs and wave their arms to gain the attention if in trouble.
It is preferred that communication be effective between paddler and swimmer to eliminate reaching this stage.
Other problems may include cramp, previous injuries and breathlessness.
Paddles will be expected to act upon the signs of distress accordingly, gaining the attention of the support craft by using the whistle.
Sound three loud clear blasts of the whistle followed by a phone call to the paddle team leader.
Paddle team leaders should contact a rib and race organiser by radio or phone in the event of any incident
They are to encourage the swimmer to hold onto the front / back/ side of the kayak but not to pull themselves on to the kayak.
If a paddler sees another paddlers swimmer in distress they are to assist where necessary and inform their swimmer of the action being taken (their swimmer is expected to wait until the situation is resolve before both paddler and swimmer continue on their way).
Message from Cumbrian Rivers Authority:
Make sure your boats and equipment are clean, dry and checked to eliminate any cross contamination. A separate document has been provided by Cumbrian Rivers Trust this has been sent to each paddler and swimmer.
Please ensure your equipment is checked, clean and dry before coming to Lake Windermere. This is to help avoid cross contamination and the introduction of invasive species to our waters.
“You are an essential partner in helping us protect Cumbria from freshwater invasive non-native species and diseases. Given the devastating ecological consequences and high costs for control, the emphasis needs to be on preventing the introduction and spread through biosecurity measures before they become established.
Biosecurity measures are simple and inexpensive. Please help us to promote biosecurity in order to protect our incredible freshwaters we love to spend time in.”
Upon completion of the event please ensure you rinse your equipment thoroughly and dry it when you get home.