According to racing boating professionals, it is difficult to judge from video alone whether adequate safety clearances were observed at Hanko’s Saturday Poker Run.
F1 boater Sami Seliö states that no standards apply to events like Poker Run because there is no competition.
- However, based on the videos, nothing seems to differ from how such events are usually organized in the world. I believe that the organizers have done their best, Seliö says.
Former racing boater and World Championship medalist Tom Warelius, for his part, points out that marking routes in the waters is always more difficult than on land.
- Safety distances should be adequate and monitored by safety boats. And so they probably supervised. Based on the video, it’s hard to say what caused this accident, he explains.
- Especially in such port and finish areas, it can sometimes be a bit cramped. If the boat is not anchored, it can easily fly too close without being noticed.
Read more: A primary school child died in a boat accident in Hanko
The white boat that participated in the event collided with the spectators ’boat.
There was an accident at the Poker Run on Saturday where a boat involved in the event collided with a spectator boat. One person died in the accident.
- It seems to have been the sum of many coincidences. Very nasty incident and bad luck. The video shows that one boat is running on the side of the track and causing waves to which the boat on the track then drives. I don’t know if the driver lost control of the boat, but at least the boat drifts off the fairway and goes wide, Seliö explains.
- It appears that the boat lands on its right pontoon after the jump and the driver loses control. Catamarans like that don’t slip any worse, but they turn like trams, Warelius describes.
Eyewitness: Spectators marveled at the movements of the boat that was driving on the fairway - at Hanko's race boats, the speed of the accident
The Accident Investigation Board is investigating the cause of the accident.
Photo: Kirsi Larkiala
Neither recalls that similar accidents have occurred in the past.
- In the Americas, there have been even serious accidents at Poker Run, in which the driver or the occupants have been the victims. But I don’t know of one where viewers would have been involved, Seliö says.
Petri Järvinen, the organizer of the Hanko Poker Run, assured the IS on Saturday that security was taken care of at the event.
- There have been properly arranged safety distances for the public, Järvinen stated.
According to Seliö, even the best arrangements do not protect against all accidents.
- This can happen no matter how safety is taken care of. After all, these unfortunate accidents have come on the rally side, despite the safety zones. The risk in these is always there.
- Based on the videos, it is unnecessary to judge the organizer or other participants.
Here's how things went: The stern wave of the boat driving on the fairway changed the direction of the racing boat
Sami Seliö has won two world championships in his career.
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva
According to Seliö, various organized events are a better option than boaters' independent racing.
- Whenever something is arranged, it is certainly safer than for the boaters themselves to go to organize something like this. Rescue personnel are nearby and accidents have been prepared for.
However, he is annoyed that the Hanko case was initially linked to racing boating.
- It is unfortunate that racing boating and all fast boat drivers have now been blamed. Even the newspapers initially talked about a racing boat being involved in the accident, even though the event or the boat had nothing to do with racing boating.
Seliö states that the accident involved a fast “civilian boat”, which is increasingly seen on the waters today.
- In the world of boats, the pace has increased infinitely in recent years. Outboard engine manufacturers make more efficient boats and people buy them.
According to Seliö, the phenomenon is not a problem in itself, as long as people know what to do.
- It is necessary to remind and hope that people who buy fast boats know how to use them. The driver has a big responsibility just like with cars. Money must not be given hands.
Both Seliö and Warelius want to express their condolences to the relatives of the accident victim.