Ryshkevich videos

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Marc Messing

Jun 11, 2021, 11:18:39 AMJun 11
Does anyone have video of the Dzmitry Ryshkevich accident.

While talking with someone about the incident I mentioned that he was surrounded by professional rescue personnel at the time of the accident but that -- as far as I can determine -- no official reports of the accident have been released. WR says Austrian officials are responsible for the delay.

Is anyone aware of any videos or credible information beyond the initial news reports and condolences?



Jun 12, 2021, 12:17:24 PMJun 12
Marc -

This was a training accident, before the regatta. My information is
that Dzimitry was at some distance from any rescue boat, rather than

I question the much over-used term "professional", routinely bolted onto
"official" comments in almost every unfortunate situation to make it
seem that whatever then happens was done with skilled planning & deep
expertise. Had it been that professional, wouldn't Dzimitry have survived?

That something breaks on an adaptively-rigged boat, capsizing the
sculler and trapping him, is a poor start, suggesting inadequate safety
& release equipment in the boat. To then be submerged for some time &,
I understand, to get just his head to the surface, only to slip back &
drown, suggests that he may still have been trapped & had been held
under for far too long.

That the bolts holding one side of the rigger/pontoon system to the hull
were missing (I understand), with that side of the boat undamaged, while
the lip on the other side of the boat was apparently twisted and ripped
off, strongly suggests that complete failure of 2 bolts on the one side
allowed the boat to roll over. The actual failure mode may be
undiscoverable if those bolts remain on the lake bed, but is concerning.
It suggests a metal fatigue failure, from repeated over-tightening of
the missing bolts. Over-tightening of M6 stainless bolts, because the
wrenches allow this even though stainless bolts are far softer than
high-tensile steel, is what we rowers like to do!

To be almost 2 years down the road, leaving rowers without information
on which to act, may satisfy "procedure" but hardly helps to advance
rowing safety.

Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
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Marc Messing

Jun 15, 2021, 10:38:50 AMJun 15

All points well taken.

“surrounded” is my word and should be replaced. My understanding is that it was a training accident before the regatta, but that there were several rescue boats in the immediate vicinity, including one with a dive team, and that at least one boat saw him capsize and responded immediately, reaching his boat in less than a minute.

You're absolutely right about the overuse and now diluted term “professional.” As a volunteer fire-fighter I’ve listened to too many defenses of volunteers as professionals – professional now referring simply to anyone who is supposed to adhere to standards. I also sat through a discussion with people offended by my reference to protecting “children” learning to row. Twelve-year-olds learning to row – I was informed – shouldn’t be referred to as children. They’re young athletes.

I had read about the missing bolts and appreciate your note regarding possible mechanical failure of stainless bolts from repeated overtightening. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been guilty of that, particularly working with silicon brass screws on old boats.

If anyone is aware of a video or hears of the release of an official report I hope you’ll pass the information along.


ps: laziness, procrastination, and indifference should not be confused with legitimate procedures. There is no excuse for an accident report such as this not having already been released to the public.

James HS

Jun 15, 2021, 4:29:34 PMJun 15
I know nothing about the incident, but drove 'rescue' launches on the lake for the Rio Olympics and was a bit dumfounded at how little prep we were given on how to rescue the rowers.

On board was me (a volunteer driver - RYA level 2 qualified - but I normally drive a tin fish with a 15HP outboard - I was driving an ocean going navy inflatable with twin 60hp outboards! (on race days I had a Cat with an official on board)

Because it was a navy boat there was a navy person - but not qualified to drive such a craft, and there was a fire person, who was familiar with saving lives, but not from the water.

None of us in life jackets.

I asked for training in recovery of a rower and it was not forthcoming - so asked my other pilot colleagues and got some vague tips.

The routine would be for the fire person to jump overboard and attempt to rescue - but they had never seen a rowing boat before, and knew nothing of shoes and release.

We had not even discussed the sequence - would they give mtm in the water, or would we try to retrieve the rower and then mtm etc.

The ambulance was on the hard at the finish line - so some 2K away in some instances.

I am someone who like to rehearse scenarios, but no such luck :(

Oh, and I was the only english speaker on board!

I think it is one of the rare instances I know of where being surrounded by potential rescuers could be more hazardous than not. (Because everyone thinks it would be OK).

We have more trained defib users in my club and 2 defibs than on an Olympic venue.


Jun 15, 2021, 8:54:26 PMJun 15
James -
Another "professional" rescue which, fortunately, didn't have to happen.
That's a hair-raising account, James, although your expertise would
doubtless have been beneficial in an emergency. What were FISA doing to
ensure rower safety while this was going on, & if not, why not?

I'm reminded of the fiasco, still disguised to save official
embarrassment, of the botched rescue of the capsized German pair at
Dorney 2006 - blamed not on the fumbling by the rescuers, who thought
they had to undo gates to get inverted rowers, trapped by their feet
(over-long or absent heel cords, I heard), from underneath the boat. It
was claimed that the oar handles were holding them upside-down in the
boat - explain how that could possibly have been the case, unless the
launch were sitting on the outboard end of the oar - and then argued
that it was really the fault of a well-known make of oarlock with which
the rescuers were somehow unfamiliar.

An example, fortunately non-fatal, of how rescues can go horribly wrong
for lack of savvy.

Marc -
I'd expect that, if there was any video footage from Austria, it would
have been impounded for the investigation. In some cases of this kind
it can be more about laboriously finding someone to blame rather than
saving repeats meanwhile.

For reference, look up Grenfell Tower Fire:
Although this catastrophe happened 4 years ago, almost to the day, the
enquiry plods on &still nothing has been done to ensure that people do
not have to live in such combustible tower blocks. Presently, the state
is happy to face tenants & home owners with impossible bills to rectify
fundamental constructional errors which were in no way their faults, and
meanwhile there have been other, but non-fatal, fires in similar buildings.

Marc Messing

Jun 17, 2021, 2:25:14 PMJun 17

Marc Messing

Jun 17, 2021, 2:31:02 PMJun 17
James --


Please let me know if you have any reservations about my using that information in the future (or have more information you'd like to share).

I've taken swift water and open water rescue training as a volunteer fire-fighter and aside from the fact that it was a lot of fun, I was struck by how difficult it could be just to pull a victim into a boat under controlled conditions.

It is astounding that the there isn't more serious preparation and training for water rescue at the Olympics level.


don Vickers

Jun 17, 2021, 2:41:07 PMJun 17
On Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 4:29:34 PM UTC-4, James HS wrote:
I routinely drive launches and safety boats at the regattas in Sarasota, Florida. Driving at this venue requires the Florida Boating License but I have never had to show mine. Only the world championship regatta required proof of driving competence. We were required to attend training and practice sessions which did include how to rescue rowers from the water.

Something I did not appreciate until a few days ago while I was reading Carl’s first reply above about this tragedy was that we were not given guidance about the adaptive rowers. As I was reading it struck me that I had treated the adaptive rowers with the same level as I did with the non-adaptive rowers. It did not enter my empty head that many of the adaptive athletes could be in severe danger in an emergency. IT did cause me to

As an aside, at the world championship there were several USRowing referees who wanted to drive in the last two days, pushing some volunteers out. They had not attended the training and a couple were not capable of getting the boat away from the dock without help. They did have nice blazers, of course.

don Vickers

James HS

Jun 22, 2021, 12:48:47 PMJun 22
Welcome to use - I reported it to BR and was told it is a FISA thing. - there is no requirement to wear life-jackets on a FISA regatta!

Sad thing was - on the last day I saw all the life-jackets in the back of the store - they were there, but they did not want to issue kit to save money.

I might be doing the tokyo lake and will wait to see what happens there!

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