Beijing plans to ban stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking in downtown waterways over safety concerns

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A man paddles the Liangma River in Beijing on August 6, 2022. Photo: IC

Beijing is considering halting water sports, including recently popular paddleboarding and kayaking in some downtown waterways for safety reasons, banning wild swimming and ice skating in lakes, rivers and reservoirs in high risk.

Beijing’s water management departments have sought public input on a new list of areas where water-related activities are restricted.

According to the list, residents will be prohibited from practicing water sports, including paddle boarding, kayaking, rubber dinghy and motor boating in waterways that have tourist boats in the area of ​​Beijing’s Fifth Ring Road and in the Beijing Municipal Administrative Center.

Wild swimming and ice skating will also be banned in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, which pose a high risk of drowning accidents in suburban areas, including the turbulent Yongding River in the city’s Shijingshan District. .

But special cases of water-related activities in the above-mentioned water areas are allowed if they receive approval from the water, sports and market supervision departments.

But special cases of water-related activities in the above-mentioned areas are still allowed if they receive approval from the water, sports and market supervision departments.

To seriously ensure public safety, local authorities are required to strengthen the inspection and maintenance of facilities and discourage the public from practicing water sports in dangerous water areas.

The Liangma River in Beijing’s Chaoyang District is an extremely popular scenic spot thanks to its beautiful riverside scenery. Since early May, many Beijing residents facing travel restrictions due to a local resurgence of COVID-19 have come to the riverside to swim, paddleboard and kayak in the river, or take a bath. sun, picnicking with friends and walking their dogs.

Meanwhile, several drowning accidents have been observed since this year’s flood season. The Beijing Water Authority has checked 287 dangerous water points as part of its drowning prevention campaign, equipping them with warning signs, lifebuoys, life jackets, lifelines and lifeboats, the Beijing Daily reported.

A drowning accident just happened in the Yongding River two months ago when a 30-year-old man died while rescuing three children who were drowning in the river.

According to the National Health Commission, about 57,000 people drown each year in China and more than 56% of them are children and adolescents.

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