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Your grandad was wrong Bill--you should have listened to your mother...

Ian S - Instructor/University Administrator
June 6, 2005 at 07:45:22

Now, now Bill--didn't your mother teach you to be more polite?

Regarding the unfortunate display of your inherited ignorance, any 5th grade biology student can tell you that your Grandad was wrong: Every living thing does not need the vital organ you have so enthusiastically embraced in your crude attempt to insult me rather than add anything meaningful to the debate.

As I have stated, I believe Hughes, Martin, and to a lesser extent, the passengers were all responsible for the Wave Dancer tragedy. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about bad boat owners and bad captains until it's too late.  You can scream all you want about Hughes and Martin but that will not bring the dead Wave Dancer passengers back to life. And obviously, the diving public has not stopped booking trips on Dancer boats.  Tourists have short memories and a much shorter list of safety requirements for their liveaboard trips.

But therein lies the opportunity to enhance our personal safety. We should stop being stupid tourists. We should be careful, we should be smart and we should always error on the side of caution.  When the captain invites us to make critically important decisions about the operation of the vessel such as voting on how to respond to an oncoming hurricane, IT IS TIME TO GET OFF THE BOAT. No matter what information we may or may not have about the strength and direction of an oncoming hurricane, the captain is obviously inept and ineptitude can kill people in the unforgiving conditions often encountered at sea.

But when confronted by overwhelming evidence that their young captain was out to lunch, the Wave Dancer passengers did not demand to get off the boat. Instead, they voted to stay on holiday and in so doing, sealed their fate.

They and the Richmond Dive Club members on the Aggressor made the same mistake again on Monday when both groups decided to stay on the boats (and stay on holiday) rather than go to an emergency shelter.

"...club members on the two boats, who hadn't seen one another for two days, celebrated their reunion. "Don't come over here without a beer or a blonde!" Prillaman yelled over to the Aggressor." (From the National Geographic article: "Into Harm's Way")

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