Sad news on Belarusian para-rower
World Rowing is deeply saddened to report the passing of 33-year-old Belarus para-rower Dzmitry Ryshkevich who died yesterday, Wednesday, 21 August 2019. This occurred during a training session before the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.
The full details of the incident that took place at around 1 pm are under investigation by the local authorities who have requested that no speculation take place before its completion. Ryshkevich was in training for possible qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games next August. Ryshkevich took up para-rowing in 2013 and had been a regular competitor in the para PR1 men’s single sculls since 2014. He had already competed at two World Rowing Championships.
When the police investigation is completed, full details will be reported.
Matt Smith, FISA Executive Director
The following is the official announcement as released by the local authorities:
UPDATE 22 Aug
On August 21 2019, around 1:15 p.m., a 33-year-old Belarussian para-rower capsized during training on the Linz-Ottensheim rowing course.
Para-rowing boats are equipped with a floating device on the side of the boat, a so-called pontoon, for stabilisation. The fixation of the pontoon was broken. The reasons for this are yet unknown and are currently under investigation.
Most likely, this was the reason why the boat capsized. The rower was still able to unfasten the safety belts at the seat and shoes to free himself. The on-water safety boats of the local fire brigade were close by and rushed to the location of the boat.
When the rescue boat with a lifesaver on board approached, the rower was still holding on to his boat but subsequently let go, sinking under water. Despite immediate rescue activities, the rower could not be found. The murky water at the location is approximately 2.40m deep with almost no visibility.
Rescue divers were called in and started an extended search. At about 4 p.m. the rower was found under water in close proximity to where the capsize happened. The doctor at the scene was only able to pronounce the rower dead.
Any enquiries should be directed to the local authorities.
Our thoughts are with Dzmitry’s family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time.