A few days ago at Lake Louise, Banff National Park, we rented a canoe to explore the placid (and cold) waters. The mornings would be cold – usually 22 degrees F, and you could see the water starting to crystallize into ice. By afternoon the outside temp was around freezing.
The water is turquoise from the glacier-fed waters – with the pulverized rock – as the glacier slowly made its way to the water.
Having been there over the decades twice – but in the summer – I believe October is the best time to visit.
The summer hordes are gone, the air is crisp, and the hotels start their off season rates. By winter temps can drop to -40F.
So anyway one afternoon we went to the boathouse, signed the expected waiver (which over the years I have determined should simply say, “If you do something really stupid, it’s on you and not us“.
Then we got the safety lecture.
Don’t stand up in the canoe.
Don’t take your life jacket off.
In addition, since there was a trace of fog, we were asked to only go out for 30 minutes. They had a telescope on the dock to keep an eye on all of the canoes, and visibility was a bit iffy towards the end of the lake. Nevertheless there was one boatload that ignored that request.
I have over the years cynically felt that humanity keeps sinking to the lowest common denominator, and it keeps getting lower.
Why should they have to tell you not to stand up in the canoe? Particularly when the water is just above freezing?
I asked one of the attendants how long it would take out there before hypothermia set in.
She replied “Take a guess“.
I thought 10 seconds, but she replied 25.
25 seconds and your body starts losing the internal temperature it needs to live.
And why on earth would anyone take off their life jacket?
For that matter, why do they have to put a warning on drain cleaner to not ingest it?
Probably because in all cases people have done it. And in many cases, a lawsuit forced the defendants to pay dearly for something that should have been common sense for the plaintiffs.
So anyway, the last day we were there someone was standing up in a canoe and, you guessed it, fell into the water.
The people at the boathouse had, in addition to the telescope, a Zodiac with a good-sized outboard motor. It’s not like that was the first time it was needed.
With that wind-up, this really takes first prize for the most audacious selfie.
A woman was removed from a cruise ship and banned for life by the cruise company after she climbed onto her room’s balcony railing to pose for a dangerous photo shoot over the ocean.
The incident happened on board the Royal Caribbean ship Allure of the Seas as it was approaching Labadee, Haiti earlier this week.
The unnamed woman was spotted by a fellow passenger, Peter Blosic, who alerted the crew.
“While on my balcony, I saw the woman climb on her railing. It happened so quickly. Not knowing what her intentions were, I alerted the crew. If I said nothing, and she was going to jump, that would be horrible,” he told CNN.
Blosic later posted a picture of the woman wearing a blue bathing suit with hands over her head on social media.
The ship’s crew later tracked down the woman and removed her when the ship docked in Falmouth, Jamaica, Blosic said.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson confirmed the incident, telling CNN in a statement:
“Earlier this week on the Allure of the Seas a guest was observed recklessly and dangerously posing for a photo by standing on her stateroom balcony railing with the help of her companion. Security was notified and the guests were later debarked in Falmouth, Jamaica as a result of their actions and are now banned for life from sailing with Royal Caribbean.”
On its website, Royal Caribbean explains that “sitting, standing, laying or climbing on, over or across any exterior or interior railings or other protective barriers” is not permitted, for guests’ own safety.
My question is, how would this story read had Blosic not witnessed this, and the woman fell overboard, never to be found? A 100,000 ton ship can’t stop on a dime and make a U-Turn. The ocean is huge and a bobbing head in the water almost impossible to see.
Would Royal Caribbean have been sued?
The circumstances would have remained unknown.
What is it with some people?
A book I reviewed last year may give a hint.
The author had some fascinating case histories of people caught in the wilderness due to various circumstances. Some of the toughest, such as a US Army Ranger, died and some, like a 16 year old girl stranded in the Peruvian jungle after a plane crash, survived.
Maybe the thought of the thrill of getting that spectacular picture overrides the obvious danger and tremendous cost for failure.
Maybe they don’t think of the consequences for failure.
I don’t know.
Maybe this is related to the post I made about foolish tourists and wildlife.
There’s a lot of things out there that can kill or seriously injure you.
Best to respect them.
Here’s the picture Peter Blosic took of the woman. Incredible. More on this here. Apparently some passengers in the past have died earlier on cruises doing foolish stunts.