Saturday, May 27, 2006

Better safe than sorry

With close to 7,000 people expected to turnout for the National Scholastic Rowing Championships on Saratoga Lake Saturday, local law enforcement agencies braced for the big crunch. Or at least, that’s according to The Saratogian’s most recent attempt at producing news.

While many can find a passing interest in the sport of rowing, seldom is there an individual boring enough to find fancy with security at rowing events. And enough fancy, in fact, to pen an article solely devoted to it.

Yes, the lake water is still cool, probably around 60 degrees right now. And yes, there are some inherent dangers in cramming nine high school girls into a wafer-thin watercraft to row furiously across the drink; hence, the three ambulance crews posted at the event.

But there’s hardly enough danger at any reggata to suggest the need for nearly two dozen law enforcement agents from three departments along with the Saratoga County Sheriff's camper-sized mobile command and communications unit. That’s a security force tantamount to one that could be expected during a Megadeth-Anthrax revival concert at SPAC, but not to corall an attendance one veteran security guard dubbed as being “a good crowd” not prone to “rowdy behavior.”

Rescuers will also keep an eye open for a number of “strains and sprains” that are expected to be produced from anxious spectators, according to The Saratogian’s article. With all those dastardly uneven lake banks, emergency personnel fear the wayward rowing fans might not be able to maintain equilibrium.

If that doesn’t sound like enough safety, then perhaps spectators can revel in the thought that the state Department of Health decided to get into the mix, requesting that event organizers outline their emergency plans down to the last porta-potty. Now that’s world-class safety.

Disconcerting, however, is the fact that deputies from the Sheriff’s department will be water-bound during the regatta, something that organizers should have thwarted for safety’s sake. As history has proven, having deputies on the same lake with the young rowers often leads to the most drastic breaches in safety.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a security officer working at the National Scholastic Rowing Championships, I take offence to the idea of having "too" much security. With legions of young nubile women packed into tiny boats wearing next to nothing, I don't care how much water separates them from the horny masses shouting encouragement from the banks. Frankly I would double security.


10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your article, and especially appreciate the links to Megadeth-Anthrax. I think you ought to consider the fact that one of the only deaths associated in the original Woodstock was someone who drowned in a porta potty. With the wild crowds that show up for high school rowing events, no one can be too safe.

5:28 PM  

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