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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Propping Up The Safety Standards In Open Water Swimming

David Barra posted the following information in the Marathon Swimmers Forum. To learn more on this topic, read here.

Due to claims made against USMS's insurance policy, USMS is faced with a liability insurance premium that is significantly higher than in previous years. In an effort to address certain limitations in the new coverage, help defray the expense of the increased premium, and reduce the likelihood of additional premium increases in the future, U.S. Master Swimming Board President Nadine Day has assembled a task force to review and recommend compliance requirements, administrative procedures, and insurance fees for USMS open water events.

The task force is chaired by Phil Dodson and includes Long Distance Committee Chairperson Donn Livoni, Open Water Chair Lynn Hazlewood, Past U.S. Masters Swimming President Rob Copeland, Legal Counsel Patty Miller, U.S. Masters Swimming board member Bruce Hopson, Treasurer Ralph Davis, U.S. Masters Swimming President Nadine Day, and U.S. Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher. The task force will be making formal recommendations to the USMS Board of Directors at the February 9-10 board meeting.

In the interim, USMS is placing a hold on sanctioning of new open water events until after the Board of Directors is able to review the full task force recommendations at the February 9-10 board meeting.

More information is here about the decisions, including the use of prop guards, that U.S. Masters Swimming made concerning sanctions of open water swimming events.

Related articles regarding the issue of prop guards are here:

* When Open Water Swimmers And Boaters Collide
* Open Water Swimming Accidents
* Recreational Vessel Propellers In The Open Water
* Learning From Traversee Internationale du lac St-Jean
* When Open Water Swimmers And Boats Intersect - Part 2

To the credit of U.S. Masters Swimming, it is implementing a variety of safety measures to protect the growing number of swimmers in the open water swimming community. Where there are many swimmers and marine vessels of various sorts, there is always a possibility for accidents. It is unfortunate to note that the U.S. Masters Swimming's decision to require prop guards on escort and safety vessels - a long-time practice at some of the best races in Canada - was rejected by FINA's executives in earlier discussions.

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