You can call it Macho Drowning. Pigheaded Drowning. I know Better Drowning. Don’t tell me What to Do Drowning. I Am Stronger than the Rules Drowning. Or just Plain Dumb Drowning. OK, it is not as exotic as a Taipan bite or being bitten by a Red Back Spider while on the toilet (I have a friend who suffered that recently – that Post coming!) Whatever you want to call it, every year our summer brings with it visitors to the beaches who want to ignore the safety rules and the direct guidance from Surf Life Savers. Today the wild surf demanded the beaches all be closed. Even to surfers. Locals understand what that means and stay out of the water. Though, like me, they will flock to the water to check the surf.
But there are those who still insist on swimming. At Curl Curl Beach this afternoon a father and his family, including toddlers, were splashing in the water. No doubt visitors, but there is every chance they have been advised to stay out and have ignored the advice. Every summer we hear Surf Life Savers tell us stories of men who insist the rules do not apply to them, jump in and then need rescuing. New migrants and visitors are a special challenge, especially those who don’t understand English. It is pretty sad to hear of Japanese tourists, usually honeymooners (or anyone for that matter) here for a few days, in the ocean for the first time in their lives and dead shortly thereafter. (Sad fact: 15-20 tourists drown here every summer).
But I have less sympathy for those who put themselves at risk and those of their families, because their ego, sense of masculine pride, or simply because too much testosterone addles their thinking. In the video at this link, or in the Travels with my Sony clip on the right of this page, you can see examples of these sorts of people. The young man at the end of the clip was with his mates and their girlfriends and had allowed himself to be egged on into the water. People like these become our statistics – the dumb ones. There are lots of unnatural ways to die in this place. A Taipan or a Funnel Web or a Croc (the list goes on) might get you. But contributing to your own demise by ignoring sensible, well intentioned advice is well, just plain dumb.
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