This article gives the wrong impression

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Martin W . Smit, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/04/12/deadly.panhandle.ap/index.html

    It implies that rip currents are causing these drownings.
    I've been in rip currents, and they didn't threaten to drown
    me. What they did do was pull me away from the shore.

    I'm guessing that most of these people drowned because they
    were weak swimmers, who should not have been swimming in the
    ocean. The second most common cause was probably that they
    got into trouble while swimming alone.

    martin
     
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  2. Martin W. Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/04/12/deadly.panhandle.ap-
    >/index.html
    >
    >It implies that rip currents are causing these drownings.
    >I've been in rip currents, and they didn't threaten to
    >drown me. What they did do was pull me away from the shore.
    >
    >I'm guessing that most of these people drowned because they
    >were weak swimmers, who should not have been swimming in
    >the ocean. The second most common cause was probably that
    >they got into trouble while swimming alone.

    A good swimmer without fins cannot compete with rip
    currents. You go where it goes. If that's into big surf,
    well, should have missed them. Since they're harder to
    identify than big waves, no reason not to emphasize them. (I
    find it hard to believe red flags on the beach are
    ambiguous, however)

    It's perfectly fine to make them the proximate cause of
    drowning. I've been playing in the Pacific Coast surf since
    I was 6 and I recall a time or two where I got stuck in
    washing machines. And I'm no weak swimmer.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
     
  3. [email protected] (Jason O'Rourke) wrote:

    >Martin W. Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/04/12/deadly.panhandle.a-
    >>p/index.html
    >>
    >>It implies that rip currents are causing these
    >>drownings. I've been in rip currents, and they didn't
    >>threaten to drown me. What they did do was pull me away
    >>from the shore.
    >>
    >>I'm guessing that most of these people drowned because
    >>they were weak swimmers, who should not have been swimming
    >>in the ocean. The second most common cause was probably
    >>that they got into trouble while swimming alone.
    >
    >A good swimmer without fins cannot compete with rip
    >currents. You go where it goes. If that's into big surf,
    >well, should have missed them. Since they're harder to
    >identify than big waves, no reason not to emphasize them.
    >(I find it hard to believe red flags on the beach are
    >ambiguous, however)

    We're not supposed to compete with them, of course, and if
    there is big surf, we shouldn't even go out.

    >It's perfectly fine to make them the proximate cause of
    >drowning. I've been playing in the Pacific Coast surf since
    >I was 6 and I recall a time or two where I got stuck in
    >washing machines. And I'm no weak swimmer.

    But you didn't drown.

    martin
     
  4. Al

    Al Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/04/12/deadly.panhandle.a-
    > p/index.html
    >
    > It implies that rip currents are causing these
    > drownings. I've been in rip currents, and they didn't
    > threaten to drown me. What they did do was pull me away
    > from the shore.
    >
    > I'm guessing that most of these people drowned because
    > they were weak swimmers, who should not have been swimming
    > in the ocean. The second most common cause was probably
    > that they got into trouble while swimming alone.
    >
    > martin
    >

    I agree. I've swum in some of the beaches in that area, and
    I would characterize them as *particularly* tame, especially
    when compared to the west coast or the east coast of Florida
    (where I grew up.) But although the gulf beaches are
    relatively lake-like, what I did notice was a much higher
    percentage of drunk people than what I'd seen in other
    places (it's the destination of many a midwestern road
    trip.) Somehow I suspect this might be a player in their
    drowning statistics; not something the local Chamber of
    Commerce would likely care to comment on.

    - Al
     
  5. Pat

    Pat Guest

    > I agree. I've swum in some of the beaches in that area,
    > and I would characterize them as *particularly* tame,
    > especially when compared to the west coast or the east
    > coast of Florida (where I grew up.) But although the gulf
    > beaches are relatively lake-like, what I did notice was a
    > much higher percentage of drunk people than what I'd seen
    > in other places (it's the destination of many a midwestern
    > road trip.) Somehow I suspect this might be a player in
    > their drowning statistics; not something the local Chamber
    > of Commerce would likely care to comment on.
    >
    > - Al

    In a small to medium lake nearby a couple of twenty-
    somethings drowned 2 years ago due to their 1>floating on
    an inflatable raft, 2>drinking beer while floating and
    3>not even knowing how to swim! They drowned within 20 feet
    of the shore.

    Pat in TX
     
  6. Jill

    Jill Guest

    Al <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I agree. I've swum in some of the beaches in that area,
    > and I would characterize them as *particularly* tame,
    > especially when compared to the west coast or the east
    > coast of Florida (where I grew up.) But although the gulf
    > beaches are relatively lake-like, what I did notice was a
    > much higher percentage of drunk people than what I'd seen
    > in other places (it's the destination of many a midwestern
    > road trip.) Somehow I suspect this might be a player in
    > their drowning statistics; not something the local Chamber
    > of Commerce would likely care to comment on.

    The Gulf has changed in recent years. It's a far more
    dangerous place than it was before Opal, Erin, George,
    Helene, Earl.... Hurricanes have changed the topography
    of the area close to shore- lots of sand bars, the ocean
    floor's less even than it used to be, etc. That part of
    the Gulf still tends to be calmer than Lake Michigan on
    good days. But when the surf kicks up even a little,
    these days you get rip currents att a much much higher
    rate than you used to because of the changes to the near
    shore ocean floor.

    The problem is almost solely with the tourists. The locals
    have had it drilled into their heads that if the red flag is
    up, and you're not a surfer, then you stay out of the water.
    They've also had the "if a rip current catches you, don't
    panic, let it carry you until it lets go then swim in"
    message drilled into their skulls. I'd guess that 90% of the
    deaths are idiot touristas.

    But the touristas *sigh* The touristas have paid their money
    for vacation and are going to go for a swim no matter what.
    And nothing bad ever happens on vacation right? So on a
    couple of the bad multiple drownings weekends last summer,
    we had the sheriff's office going up and down the beach with
    a megaphone telling people to stay out of the water. As soon
    as the deputy was out of sight, the people were right back
    in the water because no one was going to tell them what to
    do on their vacation. There has been talk about local
    ordinances that would allow the police to issue civil
    citations for anyone other than surfers who go in the water
    when a beach has been 'closed due to unsafe water
    conditions' but the talk hasn't gone too far yet.

    And then they go in the water and get caught up in a rip
    current and panic and try to swim against the current, which
    is strong enough that even Ian Thorpe couldn't go against
    it. And then some other idiot tries to jump in and 'save'
    them and gets caught up in the current too because they try
    to swim against the currents too.
     
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