George Bass Marathon Accident

Boating Accident – a series of small incidents

When it goes wrong, it really goes wrong. Boating Accidents can be just a series of small incidents.


The George Bass Surfboat Marathon is a tough race no doubt, but with coastal waters, and many support boats, what can go wrong?

The sweep (steerer) on one of the boats was flipped off the stern, steerage was lost and the team didn’t have time (despite trying) to turn the boat. The waves grabbed hold of the heavy vessel and flipped the crew out, one member took full force. It was shocking to watch.

How did it happen?

Boating accidents are often a collection of small incidents, this one was no different. The Tathra Women’s Surf Boat Rowers crossed the line first, and patiently waited off to the side while the other boats, that were close behind, could have a clear run across the line. The boats are very heavy and they wanted to go past where the other boats were finishing to beach near their trailer. A rogue wave flipped the sweep from the stern and that’s when it happened.

Horrific injuries

Vesna, our friend, (and ex-student of SisterShip Training) took the full brunt, resulting in a shattered pelvis, broken ribs and disconnected spinal cord. Fortunately, three paramedics were on another boat and immediately on the scene.


SisterShip Training is a proud sponsor of the Tathra Women’s Surf Boat Rowers, who are an incredible team.


The future?

Ves has a huge road ahead. She has had one operation and more are on the cards. Rehabilitation will be lengthy, the estimate is 18 months. Just put yourself in Ves’s shoes for a moment and think about that – makes me shudder.


By some miracle, Ves has already stood. Confounding everyone she knows. It’s probably not a miracle though it is an amazing spirit. As she lies in bed she checks on her fellow race rowers, sends friends cheery messages, and focuses on the positives (“She’s back attached now!”) talking about her spinal cord. (Ves on the left).

Support – Boating Accident – a series of small incidents

It’s been amazing, because she is amazing, if you are ever lucky enough to meet Ves she is someone who stays with you, she’s a bright light that leaves everyone she meets feeling better about the world. If you can afford to ‘buy’ her a cup of coffee, please donate here, of course, the more you can do the better. Also remember, that sharing is just as supportive, so if you can’t offer financial support at this time, please share this article so that others may see it.

Please support Ves and her next marathon rehab challenge by clicking here.


Meeting Ves has inspired and motivated me in so many ways. Ironically in her biggest challenge in life, that’s still the same. You’ll have to meet her to know what I mean.

Thank you for anything you can do.

Tathra Surf Club Wrap-up of the race

A fantastic compilation of the race has been created by Derek van Bracht.
You can watch it by clicking here.

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