August 24, 2009

"Some folks weren't grasping how fierce the ocean can be."

Nature is not a theme park.

37 comments:

class-factotum said...

Will these people be billed for their rescues? The rescues that were necessary because they ignored warnings?

Or will they sue the rangers for not forcing them to stay away?

Hunter McDaniel said...

"Will these people be billed for their rescues?"

Probably not, but I'm sure the survivors took enough terror away from the experience not to make THIS particular mistake again.

Joe said...

How about a big sign that says "You won't be rescued."

traditionalguy said...

The new Rescue Panel has ruled that storm watchers under 12 and over 65 will not be rescued any longer, but will begiven the front row seats.

rhhardin said...

Having only authorized mediators between citizens and nature is an ongoing encroachment.

Being swept out to sea is just taking one for the team in the battle for liberty.

Larry J said...

Stupidity should be painful.

Sadly, a young child had to pay the price.

Florida said...

"The park dispatched seven rangers to the area to warn spectators to keep away from the rocks, where 12- to 15-foot waves were breaking, West said."

There were more than 10,000 spectators along several miles of coastline ... and all of 7 park rangers. Really?

The National Park Service woefully understaffs Acadia National Park (I've been there) ... and this tragedy is the result of that negligence.

Many people who visit a National Park are unaware of the local dangers and it is the responsibility of the National Park Service to provide proper warnings. It's also their duty to maintain control over its parks.

Seven park rangers are simply not able to properly protect and police tens of thousands of spectators ... and the National Park Service knows it.

Heads should roll.

Revenant said...

There were more than 10,000 spectators along several miles of coastline ... and all of 7 park rangers. Really?

There are cliffs all along the beach in San Diego. Most have crumbly dirt edges. I've walked along the cliffs many times. Yet, weirdly enough, I've never once walked right up to the crumbly dirt edge and looked over to see what it was like. Even though -- incredibly -- there were ZERO park rangers there saying "hey, don't stand on the edge of the cliff, you might lose your footing and die".

I guess I'm lucky to be alive. A normal person would have walked right up to the edge if there wasn't an expert there to tell them "hey, falling to your death will hurt".

Lem said...

The name of the storm was Bill.

You should have known right there that it would dangerous to have your daughter there ;)

CarmelaMotto said...

I watched the news Sat and on the shores of LI, there were a ton of lifeguards CONSTANTLY blowing their whistles at people to get out of the water. Chunks of the beach had been washed away and people jumped off of these newly created cliffs, some with children, to play in the water, as though they could resist the pull of the ocean. If I were a lifeguard I would have been pulling my hair out. They should have just closed the beaches to save these fools from themselves. Perhaps in Maine, the Rangers should have asked for State Troopers to help.

I was not surprised to hear that someone died. After what I saw on the news, it was just a matter of time. Stupid people.

Methadras said...

Revenant said...

There were more than 10,000 spectators along several miles of coastline ... and all of 7 park rangers. Really?

There are cliffs all along the beach in San Diego. Most have crumbly dirt edges. I've walked along the cliffs many times. Yet, weirdly enough, I've never once walked right up to the crumbly dirt edge and looked over to see what it was like. Even though -- incredibly -- there were ZERO park rangers there saying "hey, don't stand on the edge of the cliff, you might lose your footing and die".

I guess I'm lucky to be alive. A normal person would have walked right up to the edge if there wasn't an expert there to tell them "hey, falling to your death will hurt".


Rev, ever been to the cliffs overlooking Blacks Beach, right above Hangglider point? I used to surf right there at Blacks because it was one of the best spots on the west coast, but it was really dangerous to navigate the little walkway paths spiraling down the cliff face. Imagine carrying a surfboard, your wearing flip flops, you've probably got a wet-suit and other gear on as well. It was nuts.

Anyway, I guess after so many people found themselves falling or slipping off the cliff face, it was finally decided to put a wooden staircase going from the top of the cliff to the bottom of the beach there now. It sure is easier than lugging all that stuff back from a days worth of surf back up the cliff face again. But we always knew the risk and never worried about the consequences because anything that happened was going to be our fault 99% of the time anyway.

Cedarford said...

People are attracted to rare, infrequent but violent natural events.
Most people have common sense and understand the risk. They go to see and experience the roar of 16 foot waves when 2-3 foot ones are what is normally seen. People fly thousands of miles, hike and climb many more over jagged rock to see an erupting volcano, watch 2300 deg lava pour by 100 feet from them. Explore a cave full of bats where others have died exploring.

The idea of Safet Nannies banning all hazardous encounters that somehow add to people's life experience to protect a few stray idiots isn't worth it.

Let Darwin have his way.

Agree with Revenent on crumbly cliffs on the Pacific Coast. People mostly know, those who don't do not warrant closing off anything "dangerous" in nature from all people visiting it simply to protect a few idiots.

Joan said...

I don't believe Florida read the article in good faith. The seven rangers were in the immediate area where the people were swept out to sea, not the entire park. Spectators to the event were quoted as having seen and heard the rangers telling the people to get away from the rocks.

My mother and I reminisced this weekend about wave-jumping on Cape beaches when hurricanes were near; the lifeguards were very strict about where you could and could not go, and they were well-staffed. Part of the fun of being in or near the ocean under those conditions is the danger, of course, but you have to have some sense. Rip currents are invisible and can pull you out faster than you can think.

paul a'barge said...

Florida: euuwwwww! Life is dangerous!! Protect me, protect me, protect me. I pay taxes. Keep me from hurting myself and most of all, from having to take any personal responsibility. EEUUUWWWWW! WHIIIIIIIINNNNE!

Dogwood said...

... and this tragedy is the result of that negligence.

This tragedy is the result of human stupidity. Dragging children to the ocean shore during a hurricane is plain stupid.

It shouldn't take dozens of park rangers to tell people that hurricanes are dangerous.

Not enough people respect or fear the power of mother nature, guess they've spent too much time in the cities.

The Drill SGT said...

Genius and Stupidity are very different.

Genius has its limits...

cokaygne said...

I live near Acadia National Park and work there. Agreed about people's stupidity, but, c'mon foks, does a 7-year old kid have to pay with her life so that we can feel smug?

Hope that the wide publicity given to this tragedy will lead parents not to take their children into danger and all coastal visitors to learn about the hazards and heed warnings.

Worst, but most likely, outcome would be for some smarmy lawyer to persuade the family to sue the NPS and succeed.

Dogwood said...

does a 7-year old kid have to pay with her life so that we can feel smug?

No one is happy the child died nor do we believe she deserved such. Our "stupidity" comments are directed toward her parents.

My family goes to Grand Haven, Mich., several weeks each summer. We love to watch storms come ashore, some are quite violent, but we watch from the top of a sand dune a couple hundred yards away and about 100 feet up.

Meanwhile, there are always several foolish souls who decide to watch approaching storms out on the lighthouse pier jutting into the lake. But first, they have to walk past a memorial to those who have been washed off the pier and drowned over the years.

People need to respect and fear nature, especially during times of extreme violence.

rhhardin said...

It's also unwise to take children to see a battle.

There's a poem warning about this

Pogo said...

"Tell me, why do we require a trip to Mount Everest in order to be able to perceive one moment of reality? I mean... I mean, is Mount Everest more "real" than New York?"

The mountainous wave is indeed more real than New York; so real you can sense something awesome and huge and unfathomable, so real it sends you looking straight into the face of death. That overwhelming sensation, a mix of beauty and fear, is rarely gained in our workaday lives.

Not for children, this business of staring into the abyss; for she cannot know the price she is asked to pay.

MamaM said...

"c'mon foks, does a 7-year old kid have to pay with her life so that we can feel smug?"

No, the 7 year old paid for her life because the parent/adult who brought her to that area was looking for some kind of experience.

Whatever drove the adult's behavior, seems to have caused them to overlook or exempt themselves from the common sense awareness and official warnings hundreds of others seemed capable of heeding.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Agreed about people's stupidity, but, c'mon foks, does a 7-year old kid have to pay with her life so that we can feel smug?

I think you're confusing smugness with disgust of people that are so monumentally stupid that they would put their kids in harms way.

Jake said...

Of course the NYT is reporting on the tragedy... after all, it happened in Bah Habah. Had it happened around the point at North East, it would have been on the front page.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Nature is not a theme park."

I used to tell my daughter cautionary tales straight out of the newspaper, and the moral was always "the world is not a playground".

She quotes that to me sometimes when something happens to somebody due to imprudent behavior.

NKVD said...

When I go to New York city I get the sense that I am looking death in the face - that is a very scary urine-soaked hell hole.

RLB_IV said...

In the solarium of a lavish estate on Martha's Vineyard a gaggle of Democrats and a few Manhatten Republicans are sipping various wines and consuming massive quantities of warm brie.
The conversation bounces around until Priscilla says "Isn't it just awful about the people in Maine who where swept away by that awful wave".
Harold says, "Those people are idiots".
Lawrence says "Now Harold, you know they don't know any better they are most likely tourists from Ohio or Indiana of god forbid, Wisconsin".
Priscilla says," How could anyone live there, awful!"
Tucker chimes in with, " Well you know that it just epitomizes how ignorant those people are and that is why the government must take care of them. They just don't know any better."

Jennifer said...

People never understand how insanely powerful water can be. I mean, you can drink that shit in a cup.

Methadras said...

You can drown in less than a teaspoon full of water. Now that's power.

Cedarford said...

RLB - In the solarium of a lavish estate on Martha's Vineyard a gaggle of Democrats and a few Manhatten Republicans are sipping various wines and consuming massive quantities of warm brie.

Absolutely nothing wrong with being in a solarium on a lavish estate drinking several wines and nibbling on excellent crusty artisan bread flown in daily from Boston with some caviar or fine warm brie.

It is good to be in the Ruling Elites!
Just as it was good to be a financier welcomed to hobnob with the courtiers of Louis XVI's court at Versailles and get richer by deal-making while living a life of luxury with fellow elitists.
Good for a while, at least..

Cedarford said...

Methadras said...
You can drown in less than a teaspoon full of water. Now that's power.


We need to regulate something so dangerous, and have many more employees hired to go around and tell people what they may do and not do with it.

We should do it for the children!
The children!

kynefski said...

Good on, Lem. Wish I'd thought of that.

Perhaps idiots are people who know, only when things don't go right.

Big Mike said...

I'm sure somebody is filing suit already.

MadisonMan said...

Laura, see? They do listen! :)

The scary thing is that I might have been there had I been in Maine -- raw power is thrilling to behold in nature. But I'm timid enough (sensible enough?) that I'd be nowhere near enough to be pulled away, even by a rogue wave. What a dreadful thing to go through though for the rescuers. Glad the water was "warm".

SteveR said...

That's why they call it "natural selection"

LonewackoDotCom said...

Hopefully Obama is staying on the shore side of Acadia or whatever this is.

Shanna said...

I can understand what draws people to this stuff (same as going to the window to watch a tornado) but you shouldn't drag your kids there against warnings. There were signs and people telling you this was dangerous, and you thought you should have your seven year old there? Maybe as adults you can choose to gawk at destructive nature, but the kids should be as protected as can be.

kathleen said...

I live in a town where NYC people summer. the parents are constantly letting their little kids go all the way into the surf before they are ready, and those are the kids always getting wiped out/pulled out by lifeguards. Let's just say it didn't surprise me that this family was from NY.