Last Saturday a gentleman came to swim the BAM Boulder Reservoir Swim.
After exiting the water he got distracted talking to a friend and forgot to check out.
He subsequently took off on his bike for a long training ride.
This was an honest mistake; he simply forgot to check out.
Unfortunately this “mistake” turned into a major incident for BAM & the City of Boulder.
Upon finding out that one swimmer was unaccounted for the Reservoir personnel initiated an “Amber Alert” and proceeded with the search & rescue protocol.
Within minutes there were at least 20 rescue vehicles near the edge of the water (fire trucks, ambulances, EMT, police cars, water rescue vehicles with search boats, a crew of rescue divers, a crew of lifeguards both doing a water search and many, many professional, medical and safety personnel). In addition many swimmers stayed behind and started searching for him on foot and on their bikes.
After more than one hour the gentleman in question was finally tracked down somewhere on 63rd Street and everyone was relieved that he was safe and sound.
For the past 9 Years BAM has been granted the privilege to host Open Water Swims at the Boulder Reservoir. As you can imagine open water swimming is a huge liability and we have been lucky to earn the trust and respect from the City to host our events independently. Year after year we work hard to improve upon and make these events as safe as possible. This being said an incident like yesterday could jeopardize our program and possibly even end it simply to the fact that someone made an honest mistake
BAM will be implementing some changes to tighten up our safety procedures that include:
– There will be more information required of the swimmer on the BAM waiver so, please be thorough and have the patience to fill out the extra information.
– A returnable band will be issued to all swimmers. This wristband must be returned to the registration table at the end of the swim
– There will be a chute that all swimmers must enter after exiting the water that will lead up to the Registration Table. The swimmer will then check out and return their BAM bracelet. Then the swimmer can dress, talk to their friends or whatever.
We cannot re-iterate how important it is for everyone involved in these swims to follow the rules 100%. When we ask that you remember to check in and out, we mean it. Even if you are in a rush, even if you are cold, hungry, tired. Even if you swim every session and we know you by name and joke with you every day. Please take the time to check out and make sure we have recorded the information on the attendance sheet. Shouting your name as you walk by is not enough. The survival of our program is riding on your responsibility to do so. Please help us keep the BAM open water swims alive!
Head Coach and BAM President