Please note – none of what follows is true. Except it sort of is. Story ‘borrowed’ from here.
Olympic slalom canoeing gold medalists Tim Bailie and Etienne Stott have prompted debate over whether people using canoes, rowing boats, pedalos and punts should be forced to wear helmets following the death of a man in a punt, dragged under a cruise ship on the upper reaches of the Thames near Oxford.
Reacting to the tragedy, which occurred within hours of their slalom victory, the winners said they believed canoeists, pedaloists and punters would be offered better protection if it was illegal to row, paddle and punt without one, “because ultimately, if you get squashed by a big feck-off boat and you ain’t got a helmet on, then how can you kind of argue.”
News of the fatality emerged as Bailie and Stott were about to give a press conference following their gold medal win. Asked about canoeing and punting safety, they said “People] shouldn’t be rowing, punting and pedaloing along with iPods and phones and things on and [they] should wear reflective vests and all those things. So we think when there’s laws passed for canoeists, rowers, pedaloists and punters, then you’re protected and you can say, well, I’ve done everything to be safe.”
They added: “It’s dangerous and the rivers are busy with a lot of traffic. We think we have to help ourselves sometimes.
“We haven’t punted on the Thames for 10 to 15 years now and it’s got a lot busier since we were kids round here, and we got crashed into several times.
“But at the end of the day we’ve all got to co-exist on the rivers. Pedalos and punts are not ever going to go away, as much as speedboat drivers moan, and as much as punters, canoeists and pedaloists maybe moan about certain speedboats they are never going to go away, so there’s got to be a bit of give and take.”