Rowers now have more peace of mind when it comes to facing potential bad weather while on the water, thanks to the new lightning detectors that are being installed at three popular dams in Gauteng. This life-saving initiative is being funded and supported by RMB, CN&CO and National Squad following the recent tragedy of a rowing coach and an athlete who were struck by lightning after a regatta at Victoria Lake in Johannesburg.
The new lightning detectors can detect lightning activity within a 10 to 15 km radius – giving the athletes, spectators and coaches enough time to find shelter. If lightning is detected it will seamlessly set off a siren and a flashing warning light, while sending out text messages and emails to all relevant coaches and venue managers.
The first detector went live at Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria just in time for the SA Schools Championships, which took place from 1 to 3 March 2019. Its presence gave the managers, coaches, athletes and parents peace of mind that they would receive advanced warning of any lightning in the area.
RMB’s Head of Corporate Marketing, Alison Badenhorst, says the recent lightning incident shocked the rowing community. “Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by recent lightning strikes in Gauteng,” she says. “As a committed supporter of rowing in South Africa, RMB has invested a great deal in the sport and development of athletes. We trust that the lightning detector initiative will keep parents, coaches, athletes and supporters safe when stormy weather strikes.”