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18 April 2002, 08:40 pm
The President of ISAF Responds to Your Responses
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Paul Henderson on Safety

I read with interest all the complaints against wearing personal flotation devices and the pain caused by imposing this rule at least under certain circumstances. It reminds me of my Squash playing days.

At one time I was not bad getting to the Canadian Doubles Squash Finals one year. I played doubles because I could pick a good partner to carry me. In those days we did not wear eye guards because they steam up, distort the light, and if you get hit on the glass you could cut your nose. So we in the usual macho style refused to wear them.

One of my International 14 ft sailing friends was a great racquet handler and we played together for years. Then disaster struck. He was playing in a friendly match with another partner who miss hit the ball which struck him in the eye and after several operations he lost his eye. Because of this tragedy no one in Canada now plays or is allowed to play without eye guards.

The problem in sailing is tragedy means drowning and the resultant family agony to say nothing of the resultant enquiries and litigation. Hopefully Sailing will learn from these unfortunate happenings and at least endeavor to minimize where we can the inherent risks which occur when we go to sea in our boats.

regards, Paul Henderson.
Paul Henderson/News Editor
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