>> Into these sluices yesterday went a schoolboy octuple.
>> I've just been shown a photo, taken from the south (Surrey) bank, which
>> shows only the bow, including bow's strokeside rigger and 1 scull,
>> sticking out above the water at a jaunty 30 degrees to the water
>> surface. The rest of the boat is submerged, rammed well into the 6th
>> sluice aperture from the north bank.
>> I understand, subject to correction, that one of the J14/15 boys in that
>> boat was swept right through one of those sluices &, with extraordinary
>> luck, survived. I don't know if he was in any way injured.
>> I understand that the coaching launch was also involved and wrecked.
>> Bits of boats were reported still drifting past a point 4km down river
>> that same evening.
>> The Thames was in spate on Thursday. While it is falling day by day, it
>> is still moving swiftly this evening. I understand that the photo shown
>> to me is in wider circulation. It indicates a very swift flow at that
>> time, with a considerable drop in water level between the flow passing
>> into the sluices & the relatively static waters of Sunbury lock cut.
>> I understand the frustration of clubs & crews, the river having almost
>> entirely unrowable in this area since before Christmas. Rowing is
>> important to us all, but not important enough to take the chance of this
>> kind of event.
> I learnt this morning that the cox during this incident may have been instrumental in saving several lives. He/she (I don't know), though a junior, was more experienced than the rest of the crew, having been a regular cox at Walton Rowing Club. He/she asked the coach whether they should stop at the club (approx 500m above the weir for those not familiar with the stretch) to turn, but the coach told him/her to continue. When the crew got into trouble, it was the coxwain who was the most involved at getting all the youngsters safely onto the weir.
> The coaching launch that went over the weir (sans coach who by this time was on the weir with his crew) was the only reason the boy who went over the weir survived. He managed to grab it as it went flying past.
> The coach is still employed by the school and coaches day to day. I am not aware of any actions taken by the school to restrict or change his role.
> One parent who was asked some pretty serious questions of the head coach was told (something along the lines of) "If you don't want your son to row here, just take him out."
> All in all, the quick thinking & skill of the pupils is only matched by the shoddy amateurism of the staff at St George's IMHO.
> Kit (Walton RC)
If correct, what you write above would have exposed a scandal.
If true, it would suggest the deliberate covering-up of dangerous
incompetence &/or negligence by its own staff in order to prevent
exposure of a plain breach of its duty of care towards pupils, with this
cover-up being compounded by an attempt to marginalise, embarrass &
thereby coerce a legitimate complainant.
Should the parent persist in their alleged complaint, are we really to
understand that the school would actually insist on the child's
withdrawal from rowing? What is the outcome?
Finally, does BR propose to ignore this unfortunate incident?
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