Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Shambolic' Triathlon Planning Slammed

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Shambolic' Triathlon Planning Slammed

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Robson Reporter

TYNE triathlon planning was branded "shambolic" after lives were put at risk, a report has revealed.

ree sports groups have been given written warnings after breaching safety laws during the training exercise.

e organisations were conducting an exercise for the Newcastle Triathlon when swimmers and rescue craft strayed into shipping lanes, causing vessels to take emergency evasive action.

e incident near North Shields Fish Quay led to the cancellation of the event in Newcastle.

Now the Port of Tyne Authority has issued a formal warning and advice to representatives from the three organisations but has stopped short of prosecuting anyone.

A statement issued by the Port of Tyne said: "e unauthorised exercise in June 2014 was held to support the planned VO2 Max Newcastle Triathlon and involved approximately 12 swimmers, three rescue boats and 12 kayaks.

"A number of incidents captured on CCTV gave cause for serious concern. Individuals were swimming in the River Tyne's main shipping channel and 12 'shing boats and leisure craft had to take action to avoid colliding with the swimmers or the rescue craft during the exercise.

"e exercise took place near North Shields Fish Quay and involved a representative of the events company VO2 Max Racing Events, of North Shields, who were the organisers of the Newcastle Triathlon, and two representatives from voluntary organisations, Blyth Kayak Club and Red Seal, the maritime rescue youth training charity.

"e swimmers were volunteers and included potential entrants of the Newcastle Triathlon. e investigation has revealed that the swimmers were led to believe they were participating in an authorised exercise."

e authority, which is responsible for the safety of the river, conducted an investigation with Northumbria Police. …

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