Paramedics give Dusi a clean bill of health

2008-01-19 00:00

THE build-up to this year’s Dusi was dominated by talk of sewage spillages into the Msunduzi River and a moderate to high risk of contamination, but paramedics have treated fewer cases of “Dusi guts” than in previous years.

The Netcare 911 tent co-ordinator for the annual canoe marathon, Mandy Toubkin, said her tent has treated only three people with these symptoms, which include nausea and diarrhoea — far fewer than previous years.

Toubkin said injuries over the first two days were “the usual Dusi fare”.

“We saw 84 people on the first day, with only one broken ankle and mostly scrapes and bruises.”

Yesterday, she added, “we sent one man to hospital with dehydration, and treated 60 in the tent for minor injuries”.

Although temperatures for yesterday’s overnight camp at Inanda Dam were predicted to reach the 40s, they peaked in the low 30s and only a few supporters and seconders were swimming.

Race chairman Cameron McKenzie said day two was “brilliant”, despite “the river gods being a bit harsh”.

“The water was high, so there were a few spills over the Washing Machine. The new generation of paddlers is beginning to realise why the old timers portaged around the rapid.”

He said the expected hydration problems did not materialise with the cooler temperatures.

The second night camp traditionally sees the big party of the event, and by yesterday afternoon seconders and social paddlers where gearing up for a long night. The beer tent was full of paddlers with their feet up, gladly accepting drinks from bikini-clad promotion girls.

After the first day’s controversy of the disqualification and then reinstatement of Ant Stott and Wayne Thompson following a complaint lodged by Hank McGregor and Sven Bruss over a route infringement, paddlers yesterday called for calm and an end to the mud-slinging, which they said was spoiling the spirit of the Dusi.

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