Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week 18 ... What I fear Most


Closed beach ...Pic from the west.com.au

The past weekend was marked with the tragic death of another surfer on our coast in the South West by what is most likely a great white.

Lots of Facebook post and on Sunday morning at Cottesloe there was noticeably less swimmers but that may have been the choppy seas as well.I lasted 10 minutes before heading for coffee.

What is clear is there is a dichotomy of views .Those who want a shark cull and those who don't.

I am ambivalent as logically I can't see a cull making a difference. I think the numbers possibly are on the increase and we are taking to the ocean in greater numbers . The  greater interaction means more casualties possibly .It is their domain and there is no evidence that these gray buses are human killers.

the killing by sharks is very emotive and has its beginnings from Hollywood movie Jaws .It has instilled the fear and horror of these predators of the ocean. But really statistically even in Western Australia , I am more likely to be hit by a car then bitten by a shark.

Some articles that touch on how a leisure pursuit and love of the ocean can go wrong :

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/mum-remembers-kyle-the-son-she-lost-to-a-shark-attack/story-fnhocxo3-1226757273664

http://www.theinertia.com/surf/to-know-what-living-is-life-death-and-sharks-in-west-australia/

Then in the same week there were a number of articles about the tragic death toll of cyclist in Australia this year . That is the true tragedy , it doesn't seem to register in the psyche of the public that whole lives and families are destroyed by the careless selfish behavior of some road users. 

See Uneasy riders as cyclists rattled by steep rise in deaths 

Cycle Safe WA

Is it OK to kill cyclist NEW YORK TIMes

The writer does provide some advice which I think cyclist should follow and there are moves to introduce tougher laws in all states to protect cyclist but cyclist will have to do the right thing:

So here’s my proposal: Every time you get on a bike, from this moment forward, obey the letter of the law in every traffic exchange everywhere to help drivers (and police officers) view cyclists as predictable users of the road who deserve respect. And every time you get behind the wheel, remember that even the slightest inattention can maim or kill a human being enjoying a legitimate form of transportation. That alone will make the streets a little safer, although for now I’m sticking to the basement and maybe the occasional country road.

With 46 deaths this year compared to 32 last year , it is unnerving and I have experienced far too many cars coming within  an inch when there was no reason or need. All it takes is that gap to close and paths collide forever.

Saturday morning's easy ride was no different with a cement mixer coming far too close when there was no need with a second lane to filter into . I continue to ride and swim , conscious that there is a big wide world of terrible out there but thankfully I am here still and ever glad I have been able to enjoy the experience and the thrills of our sport . I am still counting my blessings.