Ocean Ban Looks Set to Stay


Tue, 28 April 2020

Bad news. Canoeing South Africa has been denied a request to return to the water during level 4 of the Covid-19 lockdown, so surfing looks set for the same, reports Spike.


Logo-1024x646In a letter to members of CSA, the Secretary General, Colin Simpkins, said their request had been denied by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) this morning in response to "our application for a relaxation in the level 4 restrictions, allowing us to return to the water in a limited capacity".

The response by SAMSA was: "While Level 4 is implemented, we cannot allow this. Gyms are closed and although exercise is limited, the request from government is to limit this as much as possible – only walking, jogging and cycling is permitted within the surrounding area of your home”.

CSA has also submitted an application to the Department of Sport. However, according to the CSA members' letter, "this is highly unlikely that this will be looked upon with any more sympathy. In either event, we would need both."

NZ-SportThis sentiment was confirmed by the CSA president, Kim Pople, who is serving in the SASCOC “Covid 19 War Room”. A copy of the Level 4 restrictions from New Zealand was attached to the CSA letter, which appears to have helped the war room in its deliberation, and in fact appears to be the blueprint that the governmental Covid-19 war room is using for the South African lockdown.


Basically in New Zealand, “All water-based activities are prohibited because these activities expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services”.

The CSA's conversation with SAMSA echoed a similar concern, with SAMSA's sticking point more about the elment of danger, and not "the risk of passing on the virus during the exercise".

"We are trying to counter this argument with the fact that all of our members have a recorded proficiency level and the risk is low. We have proposed that we, as a federation, self-regulate, and that all of our members be given a letter of authority. So, in the short term, it appears that those lucky enough to have ergo’s, or those who have swimming pool contraptions, will be the only ones who will be able to do any form of paddling. Rest assured that we are doing everything that we can to get ourselves back on the water."

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