Day 2: Full of events
We had breakfast at 6.15 in the morning in the university where Frank teaches, because the bus was going to pick us up at 7.00 to take us to the Kanupark at Markleeberg. There the mayor greeted us and told us, that if the Olympic games in 2024 take part in Hamburg, the wild water competitions will be in this Kanupark, because it is the newest and biggest in Europe. After that we were given wetsuits, shoos, a lifevest and a yellow helmet and changed into them.
Outside we met some lifeguards from Leipzig, which are also qualified in swift water rescue. They had even more special equipment than we had. In addition to the stuff we wore, they had a carbine on the back of their vest for a security rope and a panic release rope in the front, to loosen the carbine in an emergency. They also had a throw bag on their back below the carbine, a knife in the front of the vest, gloves, thicker shoes and a helmet that also protects the ears. Then they walked with us through the parkour without the water. Afterwards we were shown the passive way of swimming, where you keep your feet in the front, cross your arms over your chest and hold on to your vest. We trained it a little bit. Some of the Israeli guys told us, that they never had been to water this cold. In my opinion the water was not the biggest problem even if it was freezing cold, but the air temperature was only 3°C. Furthermore they told us about how they cross a stream. The smallest person comes to the front, while all the other people build a pyramid behind him. The last line is the most important one, because they have to push the hardest. It actually was very hard to do it. I was very happy, as I was under the shower and could feel my hands and feet again.
After that the Israelis drove with some rescue boats to a swimming church called Vineta. It is located in a flooded old coal production site to remember the villages, which had to be destroyed for the mining. As they wanted to get to the place where we were waiting for them with the bus, they realized, that the engine of the biggest boat was defect. So they had to come back with the ferry, which pulled the rescue boat.
They were a bit tired, but we took them to the station of the DLRG Leipzig on the Kulkwitzer See, where we had some potato soup. Then the feast of safety organizations started. Afterwards the open water competition team from Leipzig demonstrated the board and surf ski rescue. But you cannot compare them to real life and daily situations, because the competition equipment is built for speed instead of stability and taking a second person on it. But the surf ski is taken by Australian lifeguards to check, if there are sharks in the water.
Fire department, police, german army, ASB (they demonstrated some first aid stuff) and the german association for rescue dogs. We showed them everything. Some guys were very interested in the army, they were impressed by the perfect arrangement and small space you could fit in all the first aid things and the tent from the ASB. The other ones had a very interesting conversation with the competition team and saw the station.
As we went back into the city by bus, Mira pointed out the sights of Leipzig and told us some facts about them. A short break for changing and showering in the bus and then we went for dinner to the Moritzbastei, a very impressive location that was once the cellar of a monastery. After some speeches from german DLRG members and also Stefan from Tel Aviv. Later on we went to the club, which is located in the Moritzbastei too, and had a very nice evening.