Phil and Dave,
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
I wasn't there and we have not heard the providers' side (and I do not think that here is now the place for the providers' side) and there may be any number of factors not discussed here that made it a true accident that can affect anyone. (However, that does not explain why the assessment carried on afterwards as if nothing had happened). That's why there should be some sort of review to maintain the generally high standard of professional coaching that we are lucky to enjoy.
I have never met the person concerned but as a rule I will not criticise others when I was not there and do not know all the facts because that has a habit of coming back to bite you on the rear.
That is very true James and I have always avoided commenting on previous rescue reports because I too had to put out a 999 call and I know all too well how those involved are feeling. Also if anyone had died or been hurt I would have held off posting till later. However, this rescue already has some facts in the public domain (mainly the RNLI report) that do raise public concern, principally because it was a professionally led trip.
but you cannot seriously expect that the professional concerned is going to join in this discussion
Everyone is different James and as I said above I don't think here is the place to hear the provider's side or to impartially review all the facts. Sean Morley did make a public statement shortly after his rescue incident. As a result his stature as a coach has only increased. I fear in this case the "Golden Morley Hour" has probably passed. I think Sean Morley's rescue and this rescue are quite different from recreational rescues because they are professionals and so they do have an onus to reassure the public that they are operating to appropriate standards and the real issue here is whether there is anyone overseeing those standards.
Having involved the emergency services on a 5* assessment, I think this coach should welcome the opportunity to have a peer review to investigate all the facts see what lessons can be learned and hopefully reassure the public about his future competence to coach. The UK has some outstanding coaches, many at an international level, but let's not have a lottery whether a member of the public finds a good one. We do not know all the facts and it may well have been a genuine accident. However those facts that have surfaced:
the fact it was a 5* assessment,
the fact that the party was split
the fact that a guinea pig traversed St David's head without his kayak,
the fact that rescue services were involved,
the fact that the assessment continued that evening
do raise public concern and I think it is up to the sport's governing body, and the professionals to allay that concern by reassuring us that an impartial review will take place to see what lessons can be learned that will improve future practice. As a member of the public I am not just bothered about just this one incident, after all no one was physically hurt (though we do not know how the guinea pig is coping afterwards. Has anyone checked to see if he is OK?) But this is not the first time that rescue services have attended professionally led trips. I have read nothing official about these or any review of these incidents. How did I find out about them? Instead I read about them here on UKRGB Forum and in the RNLI magazine, The Lifeboat!!! Am I aware that anything has been learned from these previous incidents? No I am not and I so am not reassured. The profession and the BCU have slipped up but not providing such reassurance.
So I call on those coaches who care about your profession, please do something to set up some sort of mechanism, either in the BCU or outside of it, to protect both the public and yourselves. If such a mechanism already exists then please publicise it.